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Issue 44  /  June–August 2009
Envisioning the Future
What today’s brightest minds have to say about the road ahead
We live in one of the most tumultuous and exciting times in human history. With our cultural, political, economic, and spiritual systems colliding, breaking down, and transforming in the mixing bowl of the twenty-first century, it is difficult to predict what the world might look like even a few years from now. So for this issue of EnlightenNext, we asked a few visionary thinkers some very big questions: Where are we going? How are we going to get there? And how should we relate to the extraordinary uncertainty that defines our global landscape today? Featuring: Ken Wilber, Thomas Barnett, John Petersen, Gary Lachman, Jim Garrison, Elza Maalouf, Ray Kurzweil, Patricia Aburdene, and Joel Garreau. Plus: Peter Russell's favorite books on consciousness, interviews with Duane Elgin and Jean Houston, and more.

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table of contents
Andrew Cohen

Andrew Cohen

Thomas P.M. Barnett
The Genie’s Out of the Bottle

An Interview with Thomas P.M. Barnett

Thomas Barnett changed the way thousands think about geopolitics with his 2004 bestseller, The Pentagon’s New Map. Now in his new book, Great Powers, he explains why globalization, contrary to its bad rap, may actually be the most unifying, progressive, and liberating force in human history.

by Carter Phipps

2012: A Time of Extraordinary Change

An Interview with John L. Petersen

In 2006, he predicted our current global financial meltdown with uncanny accuracy. Now futurist John Petersen is tracking the winds of change that he feels are destined to sweep away the foundations of contemporary society and prepare the way for something completely new.

Plus: Interviews with futurists John Petersen, Ray Kurzweil, Patricia Aburdene, and Elza Maalouf

by Carter Phipps

2013: Or, What to Do When the Apocalypse Doesn’t Arrive

The coming of the Messiah, the Y2K bug, the Mayan prophecies of 2012 . . . For thousands of years, humanity has been anxiously anticipating the end of the world. But is this “apocalyptic archetype” in the human psyche anything more than a form of collective escapism?

by Gary Lachman

Freedom in the Face of Fear


Freedom in the Face of Fear

Andrew Cohen and Ken Wilber

In this poignant and timely dialogue, spiritual teacher Andrew Cohen and integral philosopher Ken Wilber discuss one of the most significant spiritual challenges of our time: staying connected to a higher perspective even when humanity’s survival hangs in the balance.

New York skyline
Water, Water, Everywhere

An Interview with Jim Garrison

Will New York, Mumbai, and London be under water by the year 2020? Not if Jim Garrison’s State of the World Forum is successful in its ten-year mission to tackle what they see as the biggest threat our civilization has ever faced: climate change.

by Ross Robertson

Charles Darwin
PULSE: News from an emerging culture

Happy birthday, Charles Darwin; An interview with Jean Houston; Searching for wisdom in America’s finest satirical news source, The Onion; Consciousness Explained Better by Allan Combs; The top ten Power of Now knockoffs; Michael Beckwith’s new movie; Michael Dowd in Discover magazine; Defining “interiority”; and more.

Sky to Street
Exhibition at Museum
Epiphany at the Museum

Is postmodern art waking up from a decades-long aversion to higher meaning? An international flurry of spiritually themed exhibitions suggests a new transcendent trend.

by Elizabeth Debold with Carol Ann Raphael

Voices from the Edge
Chinese Girls
China’s Secret Weapon?

An American developmental psychologist stumbles upon an unexpected indicator of China’s possible future global supremacy: teenage girls.

by Elizabeth Debold

Hoover Dam
Night, Hoover Dam

Are we secretly longing for the end of civilization? An environmentalist finds himself in a dramatic confrontation with the dangerous allure of apocalypse.

by Alex Steffen

Natural Selection

Reviews of books and film

Plus: Books for Evolutionaries with Peter Russell;
an interview with Duane Elgin.

Peter Ragnar

Are We Aging Ourselves to Death?

by Peter Ragnar


Evolutionary Enlightenment
Spiritual Self-Confidence

by Andrew Cohen