“From behind the wall of the Present I heard the hymns of humanity. I heard the sound of the Bells. … Bells moulded in the metal of emotion. …
“From behind the Future I saw multitudes worshiping on the bosom of Nature, their faces turned toward the East and awaiting the inundation of the morning light—the morning of Truth.
“I saw the city in ruins and nothing remained to tell man of the defeat f Ignorance and the triumph of Light.
“I saw the elders seated under the shade of cypress and willow trees, surrounded by youths listening to their tales of former times. …
“I saw friendship strengthened between man and all creatures, and clans of birds, and butterflies. …
“I saw no poverty; neither did I encounter excess. … I found no priest, for conscience had become the high priest. …
“From behind the wall of the present, upon the stage of the coming ages, I saw Beauty as a groom and Spirit as a bride.” ~Kahlil Gibran
Worshiping On the Bosom of Nature
Some might think that Gibran is advising us to worship Nature. He isn’t. Look at the words closely. When you pray in a church building, it doesn’t mean you are worshiping the building. Likewise, worshiping outside, in a natural environment, doesn’t mean it is Nature that you believe to be God.
It is actually an excellent metaphor that Gibran chose. He didn’t just say that the spiritually awakened multitudes of the future would worship in Nature, but upon the bosom of nature. What he is telling us is that they are standing on the hills and mountains, not in the valleys or caves, natural or man-made. He adds that they face the east awaiting the morning light, which he than labels the morning of truth. So he is seeing these future people facing the dawn and taking in light. But not just ordinary light from the physical sun. They are also taking in the spiritual light from the spiritual sun. Only that spiritual light is the light of truth seen on the morning of truth.
Defeat of Ignorance
Gibran’s Future shows a city in ruins and a defeat of ignorance. The city in ruins is symbolic. Cities may or may not be literally left in ruins. What is important is that the rampant materialism they represent will lie in ruins. Already we have people saying that capitalism and materialism are failed concepts. They bring great wealth and synthetic happiness to the few, but hardship to the many.
The realization that materialism is a failure will be part of the end of ignorance. But the most important part of the end of ignorance in Gibran’s Future Vision is that awakening of the spirit and soul that reveals real truth and wisdom (Gnosis).
Cypress and Willow Trees
In Gibran’s Future vision, the elders sit under cypress and willow trees teaching the youth. This represents, in part, a return to respect for the elderly and their accumulated knowledge and wisdom. But Gibran goes beyond that with his choice of locations.
The cypress tree is symbolic of many things. I think we can assume that here it is used as symbolic of immortality, elevation and hope. The willow tree also has many symbolic meanings. I think here it relates to magic and hidden truths. So Gibran is telling us that in this future vision he sees the wise elders teaching the youth about spirituality, immortality, and wisdom.
Friendship Between Man and Animals
This part of Gibran’s future vision is not unusual. The Bible tells us that in the time Gibran is talking about, the lion will lie down with the lamb and swords will be beaten into plowshares. We are beginning to see some of this already. Some people are spending just about as much time and money on the care of their pets as they do on their children. We see animal abuses going to jail. We see those who mistreat other beings being ostracized by many.
Unfortunately, we are also seeing a revival of the primitive materialists who love hunting, zoos, and using animals as trophys. We need to remember that it is always darkest (and coldest) just before the dawn. The primitives are coming out of their caves and hollows for one last attempt to gain control,but they will shrivel in the heat and light of the sun.
Gibran’s future vision may seem like the pipe dream of an idealist. It isn’t. It is a real glimpse into the future. Into the New Golden Age that is dawning now. We can help make it happen, ignore it, or fight against it. When the dust has settled, those who helped will be the leaders of this new world. Those who fight against it will find themselves without a world to live in.
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