It’s hard to talk about dreams, especially cherished ones. As the Shins taught us, “caring is creepy,” and as Obama (supposedly) demonstrates, idealism is for kids and the deluded. Everything is going wrong, and it’s much easier to bitch, whine, and moan. Besides, telling people your hopes and dreams means they can attack them.
Let me tell you my dream.
Carl Sagan described a glorious dawn, a galaxyrise of four hundred billion suns. I see the glorious dawn, where every sun is different, strange, and new. Every star has heard the word, that the Eagle has landed. Around each sun are humans, in groups, in families, alone, speaking a babel of tongues. From one end of the galaxy to the other, you can find a sky full of ideologies, values, customs, histories, practices. Zensunni philosophers rub shoulders with Weighty Friends and Orthodox rabbis. It is a galaxy full of mystics, of people who have felt a strange and inexplicable connection to the sublime and indescribable.
And not just people. Too many futures are sterile, by choice or by accident. Asimov nailed the first with Trantor of Foundation, an entire world occupied only by “man, his pests, and his pets.” I see, instead, a flourishing and blossoming of Earth life and that of other worlds (if any). Humanity “and friends,” if you will. Where humans land, they bring Earth (or Mars) grasses, trees, yeasts, yogurts, whole ecosystems, which then change and adapt (as humans do, as ecosystems do, as life does) to their new worlds. We seek out new life, but not alone, we start new civilizations, but within a living world.
It is a living, thriving, meditating future. It may, in places, have war (but I hope not), and oppression (but I hope not), and horror (but I hope not). It’s a future to fuel an anthropologist’s wildest dreams, a sky full of lost tribes and strange subcultures. You could go into the field and never come back for centuries. And among the scattered stars are my children, laughing, fighting, weeping, sleeping, and exploring. And yours, too.