A Utopia Not Seen
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If there was one fictional book I would like to write in my lifetime, it would be about a Utopian world that was actually appealing to the world at large (of which I have been working on over the past ten years). The fact that most, to almost all, utopian books are really anti-utopian, or dystopian, in nature, is an interesting thing to observe.
At age 18, when I first felt like I was looking at the world with critical eyes, I most associated with books that dealt with a utopian world gone wrong. Many books spring to mind, that moved me around that age, Brave New World, Animal Farm, and The Giver. There is also 1984, We, Island, and others, which I have read most, but not all of. There are also titles like Plato's Republic and St. Augustine's The City of God, which consider what it would take to be a perfect society, but do not go ahead and try and paint a fictional story that would speak of the inner dealings and feelings of such citizens within the routine of daily life.
In the case of Brave New World, The Giver, and other similar works, the utopian society involved seems to move along in a somewhat sheltered and blind way. Usually the main character is the one who feels they can see more then others, and becomes frustrated and self alienated to the utopian society in some way. As for stories like Animal Farm, which deal with societies that take good ideas, and manipulate them to their own greed filled benefit (unlike the earlier mentioned ones, that have a manipulative establishment with numbed citizens.), a lot can also be learned about our history of utopian literature, and the little hope our past and present writers have of humankind finding a place on this earth that we can call utopian (or heavenly).
So lets think about this. Why has there been no fictitious work that truly represents heaven on earth? Is it because it takes a certain mind and heart to conjure up such a world? Are such visions kept veiled up till now because there has been no fictional writer made suitable for such a job? And when I say "made suitable", I mean that such a person not only has the gift of being good with words, but has the true gift of God's grace, and through self perseverance and adjustments, has made themselves (and been made) "suitable" for such a task. It has been my own personal observation that the better I make myself, the better I am at picturing a world that works in complete harmony with Goodness. I am able to see, even without being perfect, what it takes to be perfect and how such a person would act and treat others at all times.
Lets go deeper and try and figure this out. Lets think about the inhibitors that keep us from picturing this heaven on earth. What if we were all perfect and good? Hypothetically, lets say this is true. What kind of world would it be? What kind of government would we have, if any? What kind of religion, if any? I ask these things, not excite words like "Oh my, no religion, can't be!", but because I want you to think of what religion would be like if there were no more homeless, or hungry, or weak and burdened, because we would all be taking care of each other. How will we view Jesus when we are all walking with perfect love at all times? How will we choose relationships when we will not judge others on who's better looking, or who's more kind, or who has more wealth? Can you imagine a world without judge and jury, or policeman and prisons? What kind of technologies can be produced in such a world that does not trouble itself with spending so much time and effort and money on guns and warfare? Would we still eat meat and have mass agricultural industries (that when hampered, leave many people without food)? How creative will people be without experiencing inner turmoil? Do you think it's true that we need pain to appreciate health and goodness? Or is that just something we say because its all we've ever known on this earth?
I can go on and on in this way, asking and talking about what would be different (and the things that would remain, like sports for instance, where the players are trying to raise their personal bar, and not lower others) from the world that we currently live in.
But I'm going to stop here, and let these things resonate with you, because they resonate with me everyday.
If you can't picture such a world, think harder. And if you still can't resolve your question, then know that such things would be taken care by God in a world that revolved around love and awareness, because we would be worthy of such answers.
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Thanks again, glenn, for taking the time to read what I have to say. I just saw how many you've written and I'm going to do the same. As for a perfect place, and the need of help from Jesus and God....I believe we've already received such help when He was alive, and now its up to all of us to stop fooling around and get down to it. If he came back again, I still don't think people would find it in themselves to change their carnal instincts and other ways. It takes a world wide, heartfelt, progression of love without hypocrisy. Such a place is possible. It's when we start to think that its going to take something from outside ourselves, and not the kingdom within, to get the job done.
Jorge, the world in which we live is necessarily broken beyond our own capacity to repair. Any notions we may have of perfecting it will inevitably fall short of the true perfection we will see in the New Jerusalem. the name "Utopia" speaks volumes, as was intended when Sir Thomas More coined it in 1516: it means "No place." Such an idyllic land does not and cannot exist without the help of God in Christ. However, John writes about what things are like in the New Jerusalem in Revelation chapters 21-22. How appropriate that the one true vision of a perfect world would come at the end of the Bible. :)