The Charter of the Center for Human Conscience
Laying the Foundation for a New World Civilization
For a summary of the ideas expressed in this document, see Main Themes of the Charter of the Center for Human Conscience
- Article 1. First Principles
- Article 2. Holdings and Investments
- Article 3. Honors and Awards
- Article 4. The Common Canon
- Article 5. The College of Human Conscience
- Article 6. Membership
- Article 7. The People’s Assembly of the World
- Article 8. The Council of Wisdom
- Article 9. The House of Justice
- Article 10. Amendments and Implementation
From the beginning, people have sought to better themselves and their condition. To this end they have dreamed and imagined, strived and created, given of themselves and taken opportunities afforded by their circumstances, thereby improving their circumstances and multiplying the opportunities of future generations. Leaders have arisen in each age and generation, lifting people’s imagination to greater heights and calling them to make real their visions of a better life and a better world. Institutions have been founded to embody and transmit such visions; and new leaders, visions, and institutions have ascended to prominence and dominance from age to age, according to the needs and conditions of the time.
We call to remembrance the wise ones, the inspired ones, the visionaries of history: they who left the caves, tamed beasts, and became masters of soil and seeds; who built cities and storehouses, invented the written word and devised methods of calculation; who made laws and discovered them, looking to the heavens above and the worlds around them and within them, recording patterns of earth, water, wind and sky, of life, space and time, ordering the affairs of the people in pursuit of justice, righteousness, and the common good, and inclining themselves toward an ever more perfect reflection of transcendent ideals perceived or received. They gave birth to great nations and empires material and spiritual, and their gods went before them in their image, in whose image they created and were created, and fought with them to exhaustion for the transformation of souls and societies. Thus have we expanded our horizons, learned from the mistakes of the past, the triumphs and sorrows, and from each other – until at last all shall be as one, even as envisioned by the prophets of old, when weapons of war shall rust from disuse and fires of hatred die without fuel, in a world reborn in the light of peace universal and unending. To the leaders, the luminaries among our ancestors who brought forth such visions of progress, those which have already been accomplished and those yet unrealized, we pay homage and give gratitude, realizing that our own accomplishments must inevitably rest on a foundation so often taken for granted – a foundation whose every part was put into place only through determined and concerted effort by them who had the courage to question and surpass the ways and standards of their time, reaching for an uncertain future with uncanny conviction borne of inner knowledge that impelled them to action at any price.
Whereas human beings are ever in need of informed and inspired leadership, that they may rise to their full potential; and whereas the light of civilization tends to be diminished or even extinguished, replaced by the darkness of cynicism leading to barbarism, when bereft of adequate guidance and inspiration impelling people to reach toward a higher vision of the good, the beautiful, and the possible; and whereas increasing numbers of people in this day are turning away from traditional sources of leadership, finding them provincial, common, corrupt, spent of their spirit and purpose, or unsuited to the modern world, and seeking a worthy replacement to set their hearts aflame, unite them, and inspire them to a sacrificial and heroic life; – therefore, The Center for Human Conscience is established: in an age in which advancements in transportation and communication empower and challenge people everywhere on Earth to come together as never before: to embody and give voice to the highest vision, deepest conscience, and noblest aspirations of all humankind; to speak for the collective soul of humanity, commanding, not by force of law or arms but through manifest wisdom and moral authority, the people of the world, bringing the mighty to their knees, uplifting the weak and the victims of injustice, spreading understanding, reconciliation, and peace, promoting the best of culture of the nations, inspiring progressive improvements in the physical, mental, and spiritual condition of average men and women, and compelling the exceptional to extraordinary deeds of courage and principle; to become the next great, world-changing institution in the evolution of human civilization at the dawn of the third millennium of the Common Era; – may it endure as a majestic source of light and hope for centuries to come.
Whereas every institution worthy of existence must be established on firm foundations of principle, that it may serve ends greater than merely perpetuating its own existence, and that it, as a body, might ever remain conscious of its founders’ aspirations to do good in the world beyond their own death through the institutional legacy they leave to posterity, the Center for Human Conscience enunciates and upholds these first principles:
Be it recognized and affirmed that there is truth; that truth may be sought in various ways not confined to but one source or discipline; that it is good to seek truth, that it should become known to its seekers to the fullest degree possible and dispel error and its consequences; that truth discovered should not be ignored, dismissed, or denied, but those who know truth have a responsibility to use it and share it with wisdom for positive ends; that each individual has the right and responsibility to investigate and know the truth for oneself, rather than blindly accepting the knowledge or opinions of others; and that it is always acceptable to question that which is thought to be truth, that further knowledge may be gained and possible errors of understanding corrected.
Be it recognized and affirmed that life is sacred; that all living things are to be respected and treated with a degree of reverence according to their kind; that human beings are not independent of other forms of life, but live within an interdependent web of existence of which every part is important to other parts and to the whole; that our role as sapient and civilized creatures is to be prudent stewards of the ecosystem and preservers and creators of beauty on the planet that sustains us; and that this station is a high and noble calling which is our honor and duty to strive to fulfill.
Be it recognized and affirmed that every human being possesses inherent worth and dignity and must be treated accordingly; that no one may be regarded as possessing greater worth or dignity than another on account of one’s gender, ethnicity, or other accidents of birth, but all are essentially equal in their humanity and should be considered as individuals; that no one may be regarded as a means to an end, but each person’s life and wellbeing are an end in itself; that all people are endowed with inalienable rights, among them the right to sustain one’s life until natural death, the right to receive appropriate care in childhood and old age, the right to receive appropriate medical treatment in illness, the right to be educated, the right to work, the right to keep the majority of the fruits of one’s labor, the right to rest and enjoy leisure, the right to express oneself and one’s opinions, the right to vote for one’s government and its leaders, the right to practice and promote one’s chosen faith unless it would violate or seek to diminish the rights of nonbelievers, the right to communicate in one’s preferred language with fellow speakers, the right to move without unjust and unnecessary restrictions, the right to associate and assemble for peaceful purposes, the right to privacy in one’s activities and communications unless it would put people’s lives in danger, the right to security in one’s person and lawfully obtained property and to defend oneself from unlawful assault and trespass, the right to a fair and speedy trial when accused of a crime, the right to be free from barbarous punishments and inflictions of cruelty, the right to refuse to take up arms against another human being, and the right to pursue happiness in any way that does not infringe upon the rights of others.
Be it recognized and affirmed that justice is the preservation and restoration of balance of the rights of all, that when rights are infringed, the victim may receive restitution from the violator or from society, and the violator may receive correction to prevent further injustice; that the pursuit of justice is one of the highest responsibilities of human civilization, to be invested and carried forth with the greatest wisdom and care by institutions established for this purpose; that among the mechanisms of justice is atonement, whereby the perpetrator of wrongdoing must become a cause of blessing to the one wronged; that when full recompense is impossible or would likely cause new injustices to arise, the need for atonement should be tempered with compassion and mercy, for forgiveness is more worthy than remembrance of wrongs; that the goal of justice is not suffering of the wrongdoer but reduction of suffering of the innocent; and that the ultimate value of justice is the attainment of reconciliation and peace.
Be it recognized and affirmed that the human species is one; that divisions of race, nation, and religion are impermanent and pale in significance to the essential oneness of humanity; that a culture of consciousness of this oneness, and of the glorious diversity that comprises the common human experience, should be fostered and spread until it transforms or supplants all ways of thinking and living that emphasize separation of people into groups in struggle against others; that all humankind shall rise or fall together, and that the surest way to fall and face extinction would be to regard our fellow human beings not as kin in cooperation but as obstacles to be overcome or resources to be exploited; and that together, as one people united, we humans can create a future rich with the realization of the most beautiful dreams we share.
Let the Center for Human Conscience encourage the acceptance and furtherance of these principles that we, as a body, recognize and affirm; and let the actions of this institution ever be consistent with the implications and manifestation thereof.
Whereas ownership of the means of material sustenance and production and of the formation of consciousness of the masses of society has, in large part, fallen into the hands of amoral entities concerned primarily with their own immediate profit; and whereas this condition is undesirable, potentially unjust, and likely hazardous to humanity’s future; it is vitally necessary that an institution representing the best intentions of the people of the world, centered in a conscientious and beneficent vision, imbued with high values and universal principles and regarding their advancement and implementation as its very reason for existence, should gain economic power and the ability to exert influence through the channels of education, public information and discourse. Therefore:
That a greater share of wealth and stewardship of the necessities of life, heritage of the past and birthright of future generations may be secured by people of conscience in common trust, let the Center for Human Conscience acquire holdings, either directly or through a subsidiary, including but not limited to land, especially that which is or may become productive for ecologically responsible agriculture, forestry, extraction of natural resources, or generation and storage of energy, and that which should be preserved as wilderness; real estate, especially properties that may be developed or renewed for socially responsible and beneficial uses, and sites of historical and cultural significance; commodities, especially those most needed to sustain and advance civilization; and financial institutions, such as banks and thrifts.
That a greater share of influence of hearts and minds may be exercised by people of conscience in collective wisdom, let the Center for Human Conscience acquire holdings, either directly or through a subsidiary, including but not limited to private educational institutions, such as child care facilities, primary and secondary schools, colleges and universities; media companies, such as websites, periodicals, radio and television stations and networks; publishing and filmmaking companies that create and disseminate products for education, entertainment, and social commentary; and companies that own infrastructure through which media and communications are transmitted.
To enable the launch, growth, and success of companies whose principles and practices, visions and plans, and products or services are or would be of exceptional benefit to the world and its people, let the Center for Human Conscience identify and invest in such companies.
Let the Center receive donations and endowments to be used, held, or converted into holdings and investments in accordance with these and other purposes; and let its assets be managed with the goal of continual increase without compromising its principles.
Whereas people need authentic heroes and public examples of good, let the Center for Human Conscience bestow upon any person at any time the title Knight of Human Conscience as a lifelong and everlasting recognition of one’s extraordinary service to humankind or manifestation of humanity’s highest ideals. A financial award or other benefits and privileges may be established for recipients of this honor.
Whereas people who are doing especially good work for good ends deserve to be acclaimed and supported, let the Center for Human Conscience give annual awards, including financial gifts, to recognize and encourage achievement by individuals and groups in six fields: Government, Law, and Diplomacy; Economics, Commerce, and Labor; Science and Technology; Health, Education, and Social Services; Philosophy, Spirituality, and Religion; and the Arts and Humanities. The Center may establish and bestow other honors and awards that accord with its principles.
To enable the launch, growth, and success of nonprofit organizations whose principles and practices, visions and goals, and activities and programs are or would be of exceptional benefit to the world and its people, let the Center for Human Conscience identify and give grants to such organizations.
Whereas an educated and informed citizenry is essential to a well-functioning democracy; and whereas familiarity with the greatest achievements in every field and the best contributions of every culture to humanity is an antidote to prejudice and short-sightedness and the foundation of broad-mindedness, holistic thinking, mutual understanding and peace; and in order that the people of the world may come to feel a closer kinship through the common reference points they might share, not through the effects of cultural imperialism but by the organic emergence of a global consciousness deriving from the discoveries and creations acclaimed freely by people everywhere, that the Earth might be perceived as but one home for all, undivided; let there be a Common Canon of what all well-informed people should know, including facts, theories, belief systems, creative works, and historical figures.
Let the Common Canon include lists of basic knowledge of geography, history, the sciences, the great world religions, the arts and humanities, and anything else regarded as fundamental to the mind of a person fit for participation in the discourse of an advanced global society; cultural works, such as literature, art, music, and film, to be remembered and recommended as the finest or most significant masterpieces of creative genius of humanity for all time; and historical people identified as worthy of remembrance and celebration, with a day of the year suggested for the commemoration of each.
Let the Common Canon be compiled and disseminated by the Center for Human Conscience; and let it be periodically revised, that it may ever remain current as knowledge grows, opinions change, people work and create, die and are born.
Whereas higher education is vital to the progress of civilization and can be a means to speed the evolution of a global society based on noble and universal principles, let the Center for Human Conscience establish a College of Human Conscience offering advanced degrees designed to produce exceptionally enlightened leaders.
Let the College offer a Master of Arts in Human Civilization, Culture, and Conscience, to be bestowed upon successful completion of an integrative, interdisciplinary program of study of world history, anthropology, sociology, political, legal and judicial theories and systems, economic history and theories of economics, the history of science and technology, literature and the arts, and philosophy and religious studies; focusing on the rise, development, interaction, and fall of civilizations, the great cultural works of all time, and the most notable sources of spiritual and moral authority, inspiration, and conscience that have moved people to rise above mediocrity and live according to higher ideals. Let the program include a requirement of humanitarian or community service in a suitable project or cause of each student’s choosing.
Let graduates of this Master’s degree program receive a Doctorate of Philosophy in Human Civilization, Culture, and Conscience, with a concentration in one of six areas, upon successful completion of a program of guided independent study and dissertation on a topic of their choosing in Government, Law, and Diplomacy; Economics, Commerce, and Labor; Science and Technology; Health, Education, and Social Services; Philosophy, Spirituality, and Religion; or the Arts and Humanities.
That people all over the world may obtain these or any other degrees that the College of Human Conscience may offer, let the College allow remote learning using the internet and videoconferencing technologies.
Whereas the Center for Human Conscience is to be a global democratic institution representing the people of the world, let membership in the Center be granted to any person having attained twenty-one years of age who affirms, on one’s sacred honor, the First Principles declared in this Charter, and who demonstrates sufficient knowledge of the Common Canon as assessed by criteria equally applied to every individual. Let everyone who wishes to become a member be given the opportunity to learn the knowledge required.
Membership in the Center for Human Conscience shall lapse unless renewed by each member every ten years by repeating the affirmation of principles and demonstration of knowledge in its current form of assessment at the time of renewal.
Whereas visionaries have dreamed of the day when a multitude of the world’s people will meet for ongoing dialogue in global parliament assembled; and whereas today, with the advent of the internet, it is practical for the first time in human history to make this enlightened vision a reality; let there be a vast, all-embracing assembly, The People’s Assembly of the World, comprised of ten thousand men and women from all nations and places on Earth, representing the great diversity of humankind in common knowledge, spirit and purpose: that the members of this Assembly may take counsel together and strive to reach consensus on matters of public importance; that it may inspire people to live better lives by eloquently expressing the guidance of humanity’s shared wisdom and collective conscience; and that it may address itself to powers and authorities with the boldness that its inherent legitimacy affords, that they may hear and heed the mighty and united voice of the informed citizens of the world, knowing that the wisdom and conscience of the people are a higher authority with greater power than them who might use wealth or weapons to attempt to enforce unwise and unjust decisions.
Let the world be divided into five thousand contiguous, compact districts whose boundaries follow existing municipal and administrative divisions as closely as possible, each district containing territory of no more than one nation and a nearly equal number of residents according to the most recent available census or reliable estimate of population; and let the members of the Center for Human Conscience in each district elect one male and one female member residing therein to serve in the People’s Assembly of the World each year.
No one may serve more than four years consecutively in the People’s Assembly, and no Assemblyman or Assemblywoman may hold another office in the Center for Human Conscience simultaneously. Any member of the Center may declare his or her candidacy for the Assembly unless prohibited in a particular year by these restrictions.
Elections in each district shall be in two rounds: First, each member may vote for two declared candidates, one man and one woman; and second, among the candidates of each gender, if no candidate has received a majority of the votes cast, the two men or two women who received the most votes in the first round shall advance to a runoff.
Let a date be fixed for all districts to elect their representatives to the Assembly each year. Let voting through the internet be permitted; and let the method of voting in these elections be secret and secure, such that only members may cast ballots, no member may cast more than one ballot, and no member’s votes may be seen by anyone else.
Let the votes of each person in the Assembly be cast in a similar method, but publicly recorded, for all resolutions brought to the body for a vote. Votes shall not be counted unless at least half of all Assembly Members cast a vote of Yes, No, or Abstain on a resolution being considered.
Let Assembly Members form caucuses for dialogue, consensus building, and advice giving according to the nature and purpose of each caucus, including but not limited to specific fields of study, issues of interest, or causes of identification. Each caucus may choose whom to admit into its own membership. A caucus must have at least seven members to function and be recognized as such.
Whereas wise decision making relies in large part on expert knowledge and opinion; and whereas greater decision-making authority should be given by the people at large to the few among them who have earned the highest respect and admiration for their wisdom, conscience, vision, intelligence, accomplishments and abilities; let there be a Council of Wisdom comprised of sixty members of the Center for Human Conscience who have earned a Doctorate in Human Civilization, Culture, and Conscience from the College of Human Conscience, to be elected by the People’s Assembly of the World.
That the Council of Wisdom may be blessed with a great diversity of knowledge, let ten people be elected to the Council for each of the six concentrations of study in the doctoral program in the College: Government, Law, and Diplomacy; Economics, Commerce, and Labor; Science and Technology; Health, Education, and Social Services; Philosophy, Spirituality, and Religion; and the Arts and Humanities. Let five Councilors be elected each year whose degree has a concentration in each of these fields; and let the term of each Councilor be two years.
No one may serve consecutive terms in the Council of Wisdom, and no Councilor may hold another office in the Center for Human Conscience simultaneously, except offices within the executive mechanism of the organization. Any eligible member of the Center may declare his or her candidacy for a seat on the Council corresponding to the concentration of his or her degree, unless prohibited in a particular year by these restrictions.
Let a date be fixed for the People’s Assembly of the World to elect half the members of the Council of Wisdom each year. Each member of the Assembly may vote for no more than five candidates for the Council in each concentration, and the five candidates receiving the most votes for each concentration shall win election. Let voting through the internet be permitted; and let the method of voting in these elections be secret and secure, such that only Assembly Members may cast ballots, no Member may cast more than one ballot, and no Member’s votes may be seen by anyone else.
Let the votes of the members of the Council be cast and tallied according to methods determined by the Council itself for all business voted upon therein; and let these votes remain within the body and not be publicly recorded. Votes shall not be counted unless at least half of all Councilors cast a vote on a matter being considered.
Let the Council of Wisdom receive advice from the People’s Assembly of the World through its various caucuses and review and consider it diligently. Let the Council author resolutions based on this advice and its own best judgment: among them statements on any topic, of any kind, to the world in general or to any specific recipient, intended for public dissemination; designation of Knights of Human Conscience and creation or bestowal of other honors and awards; the annual budget of the Center for Human Conscience and grants or other appropriations; the contents of the Common Canon and the assessment of knowledge required for membership in the Center; and standing policies on organizational matters not specified in this Charter. Let the Council send resolutions to the Assembly for a vote, to be affirmed and become manifest or rejected and become void according to the will of the majority of voters.
Let the Council of Wisdom appoint the directors of corporations and organizations owned by or chartered under the governance of the Center for Human Conscience; and let it decide how votes will be cast by the Center as a shareholder in companies in which it is invested. Let the Council appoint committees if necessary to assist in managing specific aspects or functions of the Center; and let it elect the Board of Directors of the organization from among its own ranks, to be responsible for hiring staff and overseeing management of the Center for Human Conscience as a legally incorporated entity.
Let the Board of Directors consist of seven members, who shall remain Councilors for the duration of their term on the Council, including one Chair who may be any Councilor, and one Board Member chosen from each of the six groups of ten members of the Council with the same concentration of study in the College. Let the entire Council of Wisdom elect all the members of the Board accordingly.
Whereas justice is among the essential foundations of peace among people and nations; and whereas true justice is founded in truth discovered and embraced by people of conscience in mutual consultation; and whereas institutions independent of government, commerce, and religion may be better suited to pursue an objective search for truth and to serve as impartial arbiters and peacemakers; let the Center for Human Conscience establish a House of Justice in every part of the world and for the world as a whole, which shall investigate matters of conflict and disagreement and provide well-informed guidance and opinions.
Let The Global House of Justice be composed of sixty people appointed by the Council of Wisdom, fifteen Justices being appointed each year and each Justice serving a term of four years. No one may serve more than two terms in the Global House of Justice consecutively, and no Justice may hold another office in the Center for Human Conscience simultaneously. Any member of the Center may apply for appointment to this body unless prohibited in a particular year by these restrictions.
Let District Houses of Justice be established in districts throughout the world, these districts being created according to similar guidelines as those of the People’s Assembly of the World, though not necessarily identical in shape or number. Let the district boundaries be drawn such that each District House of Justice may have comparable opportunity for meaningful service and may not be overwhelmed with requests, regardless of whether or not the districts contain a similar number of residents.
Let all members of the Center for Human Conscience who wish to serve on a District House of Justice declare themselves eligible, except those already serving in another office in the Center, who are ineligible. Let every District House have nine members; and let the Council of Wisdom appoint the Chair of each House from among all eligible members of the Center residing in each district who apply. Let the eight other Justices be selected randomly, in a manner indisputable in its integrity, among all members residing in each district who have declared their eligibility, four seats being reserved for men and four for women. Let a date be fixed for half of the Chairs of the Houses to be appointed and half of the other Justices of each House to be selected each year; and let the term of each Justice be two years.
Let votes taken in the Houses of Justice, both at the Global and District levels, remain within the body and not be publicly recorded. Votes shall not be counted unless at least half of all Justices of a House cast a vote on a matter being considered.
Let the Houses of Justice decide cases within their jurisdiction submitted by parties requesting advice, mediation or arbitration. Let the decisions be either legally binding or morally advisory depending on the preferences of the parties of each case as expressed in writing to the House prior to their case being heard. Let each House choose which cases it wishes to consider. Let the Houses submit briefs of amicus curiae concerning their research and decisions in cases that enter the domain of legally established courts, as they see fit in each case.
Let the Global House of Justice pursue cases on matters of world importance, such as investigation of accused war criminals and crimes against humanity, allegations of corruption and misconduct by major public and private institutions, and peaceful resolution of disputes between peoples and nations; and let it hear appeals from the District Houses as it wishes. Let the Global House determine the boundaries of districts for the District Houses of Justice and for the People’s Assembly of the World. Let this House ensure that all provisions of this Charter and policies of the Center for Human Conscience are followed; and let it periodically audit procedures for voting, election and selection of officeholders in the organization to confirm accuracy and fairness. Let the House appoint committees if necessary to assist in carrying out its responsibilities.
Whereas even the most brilliant document authored by human beings is inherently imperfect; and whereas people must change how they organize themselves and their affairs as new times bring different circumstances and conditions; and whereas ideas that may once have seemed progressive may, in time, become an impediment to further progress in new and better directions; let the Charter of the Center for Human Conscience be amended whenever deemed necessary by the members of this organization.
Let any member of the People’s Assembly of the World propose an amendment at any time and form a caucus recommending its adoption. If the caucus grows to include one hundred supporters of the amendment, let it be considered by the Council of Wisdom; and if such a proposed amendment is approved by two-thirds of the Council, let it be sent to the entire Assembly for consideration. If two-thirds of the People’s Assembly of the World should approve, then this Charter shall be amended accordingly.
Whereas an institution of the magnitude and gravity of the Center for Human Conscience cannot come fully into being immediately, but must develop in stages according to the numbers, resources, and diversity of its members; let the founders of this organization appoint a Board of Directors invested with all authority to implement the provisions of this Charter gradually, until it becomes possible for the full vision of the establishment, operation and function of this institution to be fulfilled.
There is a voice that rises, a voice that whispers – the mighty voice of inspiration, eternal in the past, eternal in the future. It speaks within us all, that it may move us to inspired action. Can you hear it? Will we listen?
A paean to the damngivers: –
They who heard a voice in their hearts and who listened;
Who ascended the slopes of time and reached the summit of immortality,
Their names forever inscribed among those who truly lived.
Seeing imperfection, they cared to make things better;
Finding mediocrity, they dared to dream bigger.
Faced with evil, they confronted it and fought it ’til they won the victory for good.
Many were forgotten in this world and only some remembered,
But all of them have graced the pages of histories written through the legacy of their deeds.
The heroes, the world-changers – ’tis possible that we should be among them;
Not only possible but essential:
For we stand at the brink of an unprecedented era of potential disaster for our own kind and for the only home we know.
Let it not be accounted an exaggeration to say that this generation may bear the brunt of responsibility for either the destruction of the world or its salvation.
A mere ten generations ago, the fastest transportation was on horseback and the fastest communications traveled accordingly; electricity had yet to be discovered; and the most advanced treatment for many illnesses involved leeches attached to one’s skin. Ten generations before that, the people in each hemisphere of the globe were unaware that other continents existed; and they did not yet know that the Earth is round, that it orbits around the Sun, and that the stars are other suns filling a vast space beyond our solar system. Time passes quickly, and the pace of change is astounding.
Can we be certain that homo sapiens, calling itself by the optimistic moniker “wise man,” will even exist ten generations hence? Only if we are truly wise – and even then with trepidation. For we balance precariously in this world, assuming too much and thinking too little about the consequences of what we believe and how we think and live. We have created devices that could destroy all advanced life on Earth for the sake of some nation defeating another in war; and the planet groans beneath the ecological weight of our species even as we wantonly proceed toward unforeseen disaster as if our continued existence is assured.
Ages of time stretch out before us and beyond us, and the human moment so far has been as but a single tick of the clock of existence. Within this precious second is contained all the timeless glories of humanity, the cries of billions of babies born and elders passing on into eternity, and everything else in between that we have suffered or cherished.
In the brief totality of human history there are some moments more special than others – moments of historical import; moments to remember. There are moments when great things are decided, and when the choice of a single soul can change the world forever. Now is such a moment. It is a moment out of time, a moment that becomes a window into tomorrow and in which all that is past has congealed with reason. Drink deep, O people of the world, of the voice of conscience, wisdom, and vision arising in this moment.
It has emerged from the throats of the prophets,
And on the lips of poets has spoken; –
A voice that has pealed out like thunder,
And like a river softly flowing within the hearts of men and women –
Flowing with beauty, grace, and power unto the ocean from which all have come and to which all shall return.
Human beings are creatures of possibility. Presently we occupy a space that seems designed to test us and challenge us, or to teach us and shape us into a state of glory that we can only begin to imagine. According to instinct, we are inclined to act often in ruinous ways, seeking benefits that elude us or quickly fade – even to the point of the utter destruction of everything we know; – yet by a higher nature, we yearn for a resplendent beauty beyond ourselves to be reflected within ourselves and our world. Our tenure on this planet is tenuous and at the mercy of powerful forces of creation and of our own creation that we have only begun to understand. Let us not squander it through carelessness or corruption and forfeit our place and potential.
There is a better way; let us choose it.
The time is now; where do you stand?
So let this be a call to all who envision close at hand the coming of age of the human race; who would stand on the side of peace and prosperity, justice and equity, harmony among humanity and with nature – in short, a global civilization in conformity with all that is good; which nurtures its people and never exploits them; which respects the land, the water and the air, and all the creatures therein; and which consciously and conscientiously seeks to reflect a higher ideal in all things, evoking awe and wonder for its beauty, that even the angels might feel welcome among us and blessed by what we have done.
May this sublime and radiant vision overflow the hearts of humanity and into the visible realm. May our most beautiful dreams be made real. In bygone days and again today, we speak of things that render speechless them who would doubt and those who have faith alike. We, the people of conscience of the world united, hereby call into being this ageless vision of our time. In the name of all that is sacred and good, let it be so.
Share the Charter
The Center for Human Conscience invites you to tell your friends and colleagues about this document.
Also check out our social networking feeds.
Sign the Charter
The Center for Human Conscience invites you to sign this document by replying below with your name; city, state/province, and country of residence; anything you would like to say about yourself; and further comments if you wish.