the last decades, future forecasting, popularly called futurology, has
engaged the public's imagination. Writers like Herman Kahn, the authors
of the Club of Rome report, Alvin Toffler, and John Naisbitt have written
best-selling books depicting what lies or may lie ahead for the human race.
The reason for futurology's popularity, no doubt, is that events seem to
move faster than ever before, people cannot make connections between them,
and so the world often seems out of control. People are confused about
what personal decisions to make, and governments, also confused, operate
without plan, direction, or vision, simply reacting to crisis after crisis.
People sense that this lack of direction and control could soon lead us
to common doom through nuclear, ecological, or population explosion.
and future forecasters try to meet this need for vision and direction.
Their task is urgent. But most public attention to future forecasting seems
to focus on visions of scientific and technological breakthroughs that
will make the world a paradise or hell, on analyses of single issues like
the impact of development on the environment, on tendencies in a single
country or region, or on forecasts of business and economic trends. It
shows little interest in future religious, social, spiritual, sexual, and
political patterns, assuming, perhaps, that these will be no different
from today's, or will change merely to conform to the presumably more important
sci-tech and economic changes.
book I try to meet the urgent need to know the future by advancing a different
perception. Of course sci-tech and business trends, like eating, sleeping,
and eliminating, will remain important. But the future which this book
sees is one of religious-spiritual growth, decreasing interest in business
and economics, a post-capitalist economic system, an androgynous -- that
is, sexually-balanced -- society, and the rise of new great powers whose
power will be based not on military, economic, or technological strength,
as hitherto, but on their religious and spiritual strength and on the newly
disencumbered strength of women.
do futurists tend to lose themselves in superficial or limited visions
of sci-tech and business and fail to foresee the more profoundly relevant
trends? Because they often lack or reject a "big-picture" approach -- a
comprehensive, holistic, synthetic view of history and the future that
shows us how the seemingly random events of past, present, and future are
linked together. That is the approach I try to apply in this book.
what have we most often seen? Early in the twentieth century, Oswald Spengler,
the German historian, predicted the decline of the West. In more recent
decades, Daniel Bell, John Kenneth Galbraith, and Alvin Toffler have shown
that the "second-wave" industrial system we had been living under since
the Industrial Revolution was changing into a new system, which the three
authors respectively called the post-industrial society, the new industrial
state, and the third wave.
recently, in The Rise and Fall of the Great Powers, Professor Paul
Kennedy showed how all great powers eventually lose their military and
political strength if they fail to keep their economies healthy -- a warning
to the United States to deal with its economic problems or lose its political
and military superiority relative to the newly-rising economic powers of
the Far East and elsewhere.
scholars and writers signal new trends such as the rebirth of Japan, Islam,
anti-Semitism, and Nazism; the rise of women, animal rights, China, and
the New Age; the mass return to religion; and the "downsizing" of human
employment, which will lead to machines, robots, and computers taking over
most physical and mental work, while humans -- most at least of the projected
10 billion of us -- will confront lives of enforced leisure.
theorists have recently ignited raging debates. One, Francis Fukuyama,
in a 1989 essay entitled "The End of History," argued that with the "collapse" of communism history itself has ended: sooner or later all countries will
have to adopt the only system "that works," American Western-style liberal
democratic capitalism. The other, Professor Samuel P. Huntington, in a
1993 article in Foreign Affairs, argued that with the end of the
Cold War, conflicts between ideologies -- liberal democracy vs. fascism
vs. communism -- were giving way to clashes between cultures: the West vs.
Islam, Muslims vs. Hindus, the West vs. Greater China, and so on.
ideas, only the ones of Spengler and Toffler are based on a big-picture
approach. The other formulations I have mentioned seem to be presented
(and are usually perceived) as if each were isolated and disconnected from
the others and alone held the key to understanding the present and future.
By contrast, the big-picture approach of this book is so spacious that
it both includes and reinforces the truth (to the extent they are true)
of all these conceptions, as it subordinates each to the Big Picture and
puts them all in a comprehensive framework that shows how they interconnect.
No single one stands out as more of a panacea or threat than it really
tries to show, for instance, not only that Professor Kennedyís insight
-- that military and political power depend on economic strength -- is true
and urgent for the United States, but also how this truth relates to the
coming post-industrial society, the decline of the West, the rise of Japan,
Islam, China, anti-Semitism, women, animal rights, religious fundamentalism,
the shrinkage of human employment, and so forth. It tries to answer questions
raised by the debates about the end of history and the clash of cultures
by showing that humanity still has three economic systems to experience
before "the end of history," and that the main struggles in the past and
into the future were and will be neither clashes of culture nor of ideology,
but clashes between the male and female principles and between castes.
The Three Dimensions of History -- Age, Sex, and
book offers, to be precise, not one but three "big pictures," which I call
models: the Age, the Sex, and the Caste Models. Each model describes history
and the future from a different perspective. Each provides a framework
that explains, I believe, the seemingly random, incomprehensible, and disconnected
events of history more easily and elegantly than other explanations. The
models thus enable us to understand and re-evaluate the past, act and make
personal and national decisions in the present, and forecast and prepare
for the future in the most accurate, effective way.
through the nineteenth century, the big-picture approach to past and future
was the normal approach, first in the form of religious grand narratives.
That was because practically everyone was religious, or professed to be.
God had not yet "died." And every religion had its own built-in grand narrative.
The Western religious grand narratives -- Christian, Jewish, Islamic -- explain
history as divine plan, moving toward a culmination. (Eastern religious
grand narratives, by contrast, envision history and future as endlessly
repeated cycles.) Every individual must choose whether to participate in
this divine plan and thus attain "eternity," or to reject it. The Christian
grand narrative predicts that one day Jesus will return and there will
be a Day of Judgment. The good and the believers will be rewarded in heaven;
the bad and the unbelievers will be punished in hell.
modern times, as God "died" for many people and science replaced religion
as their prime source of truth, secular grand narratives -- often
called macrohistories -- gained popularity, especially in the 19th century.
Auguste Comteís positivist Law of the Three Stages is an example. That
macrohistory saw world society as passing from a prehistoric theological
stage to a metaphysical stage to a final positivist or scientific stage.
Later in that century, Marx and Engels presented their model of history
and the future as a series of socio-economic stages: Starting out with
primitive communism, humanity progressed through slavery, feudalism, and
capitalism, and will experience worker revolution and dictatorship, the
withering away of the state, and finally a worldwide socialist-anarchist
Attention Marxists and Ex-Marxists: Marxism Failed
Politically Because of its Defects as a Theory of Revolution. The
Idea that Corrects Them Comes from India.
Marxist macrohistory is the most well-known, influential, and enduring
in popularity and unpopularity. Right now it is out of favor. But I think
that its description of the stages of history and its projection of the
future are basically correct, and in fact they roughly correspond to stages
in my Caste Model. (This may seem odd, since the Caste Model, as Chapter
1 will explain, is derived from the ancient Hindu philosophy of history.
Why, one may ask, is the Marxist philosophy of history so similar to the
Hindu one? Marx and Engels are not known to have spent time in an Indian
the Marxist model has at least four distorting defects that threw its predictions
and politics off and helped assure the later failures of communist systems.
The Caste Model, though based on a philosophy 3,000 years older than the
Marxist one, does not have these defects. (Had the many disillusioned ex-Marxists
of the '40s, '50s, and later known about the Caste Model, they would have
been able to turn to it as an alternative theory and philosophy of history
first defect of the Marxist model was faulty defining of terms, especially
the term "working class." Defined too narrowly, it refers mainly to blue-collar
wage labor. It should have included, like the Caste Modelís equivalent
term, "worker caste," anyone working for a wage, salary, fee, or "nothing," such as most peasants, farmers, and professionals, and all white-collar
workers, serfs, slaves, and women doing housework and childcare.
number two was that the model interpreted the movement from stage to stage
too rigidly and mechanically. True, worker revolution overthrows what I
shall call merchant-caste capitalism, the stage that precedes it. But the
model then mistakenly assumed that every country would experience the two
stages in the same strict order: every country in which capitalism had
fully developed would be ripe for and thus experience a worker revolution.
This defect caused the Marxist model to wrongly predict worker revolutions
in countries where they could not happen, such as France, Britain, and
Germany, and to fail to predict them in countries where they actually would
happen -- Russia, China, Vietnam, Cuba, etc. Chapter 1 shows, I feel, how
the Caste Model corrects this defect because its view of the nature of
revolution -- not just of worker-caste but of all caste revolution -- is deeper, more subtle, and less mechanical than that of the Marxist
defect in the Marxist model is its economic determinism, the belief that
economics is the determining factor in history. The model shows this bent
by naming all of its stages of history by their socio-economic systems:
slavery, feudalism, capitalism, etc. This defect leads to faulty prediction
simply because there are deeper determining forces in history than economic
ones. Here is an example from everyday life to illustrate the point: Economics
cannot determine our age, sex, or caste. But all three of these significantly
determine what our economic situation will be. For example, if you are
old, female, and not money-oriented (i.e., not in the merchant caste),
lots of money or a good job will not make you young, male, and money-oriented.
But being young, male, and money-oriented will give you a much better chance
at money and high-salaried jobs than being old, female, and not money-oriented.
for this defect is easy to understand once one is familiar with the Caste
Model. Marx, Engels, and their followers lived in one of the two most economically-determined
and economically-focussed of the five caste ages: the Merchant Age. Moreover,
they pioneered the development of the other: the Worker Age. So they easily
fell into the trap of thinking that all ages were and must be equally
defect, too, distorted the Marxist modelís predictions. Like the first
defect, it led Marxists into putting too much hope in the revolutionary
role of blue-collar wage labor, an economic force. Second, it led them
to shrug off the importance -- in history, in the future, and with respect
to revolution -- of the non-economic factors and forces of history, especially
of the warrior mentality, spirituality, religion, ethnicity and culture,
and women and the female principle.
defect of the Marxist model is its arbitrariness. That is, if you were
living in any one of its stages of history, you would not be able to guess
what the next or later stages would be, unless you had studied the model
and taken Marx' and Engels' word for it. If you had lived, for example,
in the stage of slavery, you would have had to be clairvoyant to know that
feudalism would be the next stage, then capitalism, and so forth. This
is because the model was essentially devised by two persons who, in turn,
had adapted ideas devised by earlier thinkers such as Hegel. It has no
easily traceable deep roots in ancient collective human wisdom, culture,
models of this book, by contrast, seem to have predictability built into
them. Whatever stage of history you happen to be in, once your attention
is drawn to the ancient wisdom or everyday collective experience behind
the model's basic concept, you can easily deduce all the later stages and
the broad trends which are likely to occur within them.
the twentieth century, except for the Marxist model of history in its heyday,
grand narratives and macrohistories -- and the big-picture "holistic" approach
to history and the future in general -- have gone out of fashion. Scholars,
media commentators, historians, and futures researchers reject them outright.
One reason has been that grand narratives resemble the so-called grand
theories that seem to explain history too neatly and rigidly, in a scientistic
rather than scientific way. Grand theorists made predictions based on their
theory as if it were a flawless, scientific formula. Such theories oversimplified
and overgeneralized. A second reason has been that past grand narratives/macrohistories
seemed simply to no longer ring true, or had too many obvious flaws, or
were too masculine in tone. A third reason has been the recent postmodern
criticism. Postmodernists see macrohistory as part of the outdated modern
Western tradition. They reject it along with everything modern and Western.
has also played a role in the rejection. The most widely accepted macrohistory
has of course been the Marxist one. It was the basis for the worldwide
Marxist movement and for the communist states. The collapse of those states
in Europe has left the Marxist macrohistory widely discredited, but until
that collapse, it was the most popular challenge to our current capitalist
system. The Marxist model sees capitalism as an outdated transition system
to be replaced through revolution by communism. So naturally, long before
the defects of the Marxist model became obvious, the influential elites
felt threatened by its political directions. They used their influence
in politics and the media to make the Marxist theory even more unfashionable
and unpopular than it deserved to be.
even apart from the Marxist one, any macrohistory worth its salt is bound
to see our present political-economic system as far from what humanity
is capable of and will create in the future. So in the eyes of our present
elites, all salt-worthy macrohistories are "subversive."
I suspect that the profound reason for the twentieth centuryís rejection
of grand narratives, macrohistories, and big pictures of history and the
future is simply that, within the mainstream of scholars, media commentators,
historians, and futurists, the male principle, which delights in specializing,
analyzing, compartmentalizing, and fragmenting, reigned (as it still reigns)
supreme. As Chapter 2 (The Sex Model) points out, the holistic, big-picture
approach to things is an expression of the female principle, and in the
twentieth century the Western and Westernized "establishment" tended to
repress and reject this female principle, for reasons which will become
clear in the chapters ahead.
Deep Structures and Human Coordinates
problem with grand narratives, macrohistories, and big pictures being out
of fashion is this: since they are the only kind of ideas that give a sense
of order, meaning, coherence, and predictability to history and the human
condition, without them we are left with the sense that history is random
and meaningless, the present confusing, and the future totally unpredictable.
This is why most historians spend all their time and effort just analyzing
their specialized study areas in greater and more trivial detail, rather
than looking for the "big picture," and why futurists, who lack any big
picture to guide them, simply analyze current trends to predict future
unfashionable though big pictures may be, the assumption that history is
random and meaningless and the future unpredictable is too extreme. Chaos
theory shows that processes that seem random on the surface show orderly,
predictable patterns on deeper levels. Likewise, though everyday historical
events seem to happen at random, the broad basic trends, or "deep structures," of history have meaning, direction, and pattern; and by knowing these things
we can predict a great deal.
rationale for big pictures can be inferred from common-sense experience.
The human body and the life cycle offer two examples. Before a person is
born, we cannot predict in detail what that person will do with her body
and mind during the course of her life. For we cannot get inside peopleís
heads and hearts, and perceive their will. But almost everyone has the
same "predictable" body. We know in advance that every person born will
have either male or female genitals, a mind, two eyes, two ears, one head,
no tail, etc. The inevitability of the body-mind-spirit complex is the
deep-structure, which is pre-determined and predictable.
life cycle is a similar deep structure. We can predict that everyone born,
assuming he lives long enough, will go from birth, to infancy, to childhood,
to adulthood, etc., in that order. To my knowledge, never once in human
history has a person been an old man or woman before he/she was a child,
despite F. Scott Fitzgeraldís amusing phantasy of Benjamin Button, the
man who grew young. (I may be the only exception.) What a person does
during these stages, however -- the surface structure -- is of course fairly
cases of both the human body and the life cycle, we cannot predict how
people will act in detail. But by simply knowing generally how the body
works, and what people generally do during the different stages of the
life cycle, we predict in a broad general way more than we realize we do.
is true for the deep structures of the individual is true also for the
deep structures of human society as it moves through history. If we look
at these deep structures, we can see meaning in history and guess intelligently
the futureís basic trends. And if we know individual countries well, we
can fairly well intuit how they will react to these trends.
the structure that a model encompasses, the more its explanation of history
rings true and the more it can be used to accurately predict. Tofflerís
"three wave" model (or metaphor, as he calls it), the subject of his book
Third Wave, is a good example. It shows how history, starting out with
humanity as a primitive gathering-hunting society, progressed through an
agricultural, an industrial, and now a post-industrial, third, wave. One
cannot really argue against that model and its deep structures. Toffler
shows us order and direction in what looks like chaos.
models in this book, I believe, explain history and the future from an
even deeper -- perhaps the deepest -- structural level: the coordinate level.
Every person has three "coordinates" completely or greatly determined and
predictable the day she or he is born: her/his age, sex, and caste (a social
grouping with its own system of values, world view, and behavior). Everyone
has an age at every moment of his/her life, known and predictable from
the moment of birth. Everyone belongs to one or the other of the two sexes.
And everyone can be said to "belong" to one of the four human castes. As
this book hopes to show, the history and future of humanity as a whole
have the same three coordinates: the age, sex, and caste development of
the human species, determined the "day" it was "born." Just as we can understand
and predict a lot about a single person by knowing her age, sex, and caste,
so can we understand and predict a lot about the human race by knowing
its present stage of age, sex, and caste development.
model is basically oriented toward economics, science, and technological
development. Since the models in this book, of age, sex, and caste, deal
with deeper structures of history than these, they show all the more truly,
perhaps, how much more important than economics, science, and technology
will be, in the twenty-first century, religion and spirituality; feminism,
the female principle, and the androgynous direction of society; caste revolution
and struggle; and the roles of key individual countries and peoples, such
as India and Tibet, Israel and the Jews, the Islamic countries, sub-Saharan
Africa, and the indigenous peoples of all continents.
The More Deeply You Look at History, the More
You Can Expect the Unexpected
three models seem to answer todayís troubling questions: Why are formerly
employees in developed Western countries getting laid off in droves, never
to refind the job and life security they once seemed to have? How will
that problem be solved? Will capitalism survive? If not, what will replace
it in the 21st century? What will happen to the American-Russian relationship?
Will the U.S. remain strong? Will China become a great power? Will Japan?
What will be the future political, economic, and social position and power
of women? Will Israel and Palestine find peace and prosperity? What will
be the role of Islam? Of fundamentalism? Of India? Which will be the great
powers of this century? What will happen to religion? How will men and
women love and relate to each other sexually? Will there be monogamy? What
is Africaís destiny? And most important, will humanity survive beyond the
clear view of history the models provide seems also to help us intuit seemingly
unexpected events before they happen. Let me illustrate with my own experience.
day after the Vietnamese communist army occupied Saigon in 1975, I read
the newspaper reports about it in my flat in Tokyo. Suddenly this idea
popped into my head: "Of course, another worker-caste republic has established
itself through revolution. Just as the ancient Hindu sages had predicted,
the worker caste is taking over the world from the merchant caste." Spontaneously,
I had made what seemed to be the elusive connection between everyday history
as we know it and study it in school and the Hindu philosophy of history.
philosophy is as familiar to most Hindus, from learned pundit to housewife
to migrant from the countryside sleeping on the city streets, as the Garden
of Eden, the Fall, and the Second Coming are to most Christians. And the
terms it uses -- yuga, kalpa, kaliyuga, and others -- are now even familiar to many people in the West. Yet when I first became
familiar with this philosophy during the two years I spent in and around
India in the mid-1960s, even though I had been a history major in my earlier
college days, I could make no sense of it or see any connection between
it and actual, lived history. Nor had I come across any literature that
had made such a connection in a convincing way. So I dismissed the philosophy
as just some more of that imaginative but gratuitous mythmaking many Indians
are fond of indulging in.
I realized that the old Hindu idea was true: it was fact as well as myth.
This single connection between it and real history led spontaneously, over
the next few days, to the three models and all the main ideas of the book.
after these "revelations and inspirations," I dismissed the whole thing.
For if the three models truly described the stages of history and the future,
the unexpected events which they suggested would happen -- as I interpreted
them, of course -- seemed, at that time back in 1975, not very probable.
They suggested trends like intensified trade friction between Japan and
the United States accompanied by strong Japan-bashing and a split in the
U.S.-Japan alliance, Arab leaders making peace visits to Israel, religious
revolutions replacing socialist revolutions, and a rapprochement between
Japan and China. In fact, they generated all the basic forecasts in this
book. These included the development of a world-leading Far East political-economic
bloc; the reunification of Germany and of Eastern and Western Europe into
a single bloc; the formation of a bloc comprising the United States, Russia,
Canada, and Scandinavia; the integration of Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, and
Burma into the Association of Southeast Asian Nations; religion and spirituality
replacing economics as the main source of world power; the leadership of
world politics by women; the end of monogamy; anarchism replacing capitalism
and socialism as the main economic system; the formation of a Pan-Semitic
federation comprising Israel, Palestine, and the Arab countries; an androgynous
society; the shift of world power from the industrialized North to India,
the Middle East, and most of the Islamic world; strong anti-Semitism in
the United States and a mass migration of North American Jews to Israel;
a powerful animal rights movement; the end of meat-eating by humans and
of cruel sports; the end of apartheid in South Africa; sex as the basis
of religion; an artificial world language replacing English as the lingua
franca; and the political leadership of black Africa and indigenous peoples
in the late 21st century.
not only I, but everyone I talked to about the models and their implications
dismissed the whole thing as crazy and ridiculous.
the following five years, one surprising event after another occurred,
which conformed to the scenario of the models. In the later 1970s, U.S.-Japan
trade friction and Japan-bashing, imperceptible before 1975, intensified.
In 1977, Anwar Sadat of Egypt paid a surprise peace visit to Israel. In
1979, the first religious revolution succeeded in Iran. And Japan and China
drew economically and politically closer with dazzling speed.
these events, I said to myself: "Hmmm. Maybe there's something to the models
after all." And so, as the 1970s ended, I decided to write them down, along
with the forecasts they suggested to me, as a book. Since 1983, Iíve also
lectured and written articles on the subject. It became a duty and a pleasure.
A duty because no one seemed to have made the connections as concretely
and in as much detail before. And if the models were true, they might not
only revolutionize the way we look at and study history, but perhaps they
could even minimize the destructive forces that lay ahead and perhaps "save
the world." (I was clearly getting carried away by my enthusiasm.) If the
models proved wrong in their forecasts after all, no one would be the worse
for it; if they proved correct, all would benefit.
then the models seem to be still on target: If you go over the above list
of forecasts, you will see that some of them have since come true, others
conform to the direction of the scenario, and many seem no longer as unexpected
and surprising as they were in 1975. (The rest are admittedly "improbable" and "ridiculous" enough to keep the book interesting.)
Not Class Struggle, but Caste Struggle
let us survey briefly the contents of the book. Chapters 1, 2, and 3 introduce
in turn the basics of the Caste, Sex, and Age Models. These three models
express the stages of caste, sex, and age development, respectively, of
the human species. The Caste Model, derived from, but by no means identical
with, the Hindu philosophy of history, divides history and the future into
five "caste ages." Starting from an initial Spiritual-Religious Age in
pre- and early history, humanity evolved through a Warrior Age, ruled by
kings, emperors, knights, nobles, and samurai, to a Merchant Age, dominated
by traders and industrialists, to a bureaucratic-technocratic Worker Age.
Then history "ends" -- in the future -- with a second Spiritual-Religious
Age. The model helps us explain and predict the rise and fall of old and
new great powers, according to which caste they "belong" to, and the worldwide
political, economic, social, military, and religious consequences of this
1 also reviews seven patterns of history and revolution that characterize
the caste struggle, correcting in the process the basic errors in Marxist
thinking that led to Marxismís later and current political failures. These
patterns will repeat themselves in the future as, for example, religious
revolution replaces bourgeois and socialist revolution as the main form
the Caste Model yields the most diverse information, it takes up most of
the book. But it deals with only one of the three coordinates. The Sex
and Age Models supply the pixels needed to complete the big picture by
explaining the development of the other two. Using the Chinese yin-yang
philosophy as its metaphor, the Sex Model is a feminist macrohistory that
shows that history evolves dialectically through three successive sexual
ages. The first age was the Yin Age, corresponding to prehistory, when
humanity lived in tune with the female principle. Then came the Yang Age,
which began with the Patriarchal Revolution between 4,000 and 2,000 BC,
and has continued up to the present. In this age the human race switched
over to living in tune with the male principle. We humans are now in the
transition from the Yang Age to the third and last sexual age, the Androgynous
Age. The "pioneering stage" of that age began roughly in the 1960s, with
the rebirth of the feminist movement. A growing holistic world view, the
environmental movement, gay rights, animal rights, and related trends are
part of this surge towards androgyny.
Sex Model predicts that whatever is either "too male" or "too female" in
the Yang Age, the age now coming to a close, will become sexually balanced
in the just-starting Age of Androgyny. The changing nature of women and
men is an example, but equally important is the marriage of East and West.
The model shows that a "sexual divide" occurred at the beginning of the
Yang Age: the East stayed closer to humanityís yin-female roots, while
the West went very far toward the yang-male pole. As we androgynize, we
integrate Eastern and Western culture, sensibility, philosophy, and religion.
The model yields androgynously-oriented predictions about ecology, medicine,
animal rights, hunting, cruel sports, the nature of God, homosexuality,
feminism, the role of women in politics and society, and male-female love-sex
3 presents the Age Model. The model suggests that the spiritual development
of humanity as a whole parallels that of a single properly-maturing individual
as he or she ages. It shows that the successive stages of history and the
future correspond to the successive stages in the individualís life cycle.
The idea is not new. The 19th century evolutionist, Ernst Haeckel, applied
a similar idea to biology, Freud applied the idea to psychology, and Ken
Wilber, the leading transpersonal theorist, uses it to describe the development
of human consciousness. Here, in the form of the Age Model, I apply it
directly to history and the future, especially as expressed in religion
Model narrates key turning points in human history that correspond to those
in the life of an individual. An example was the period around 2,000 BC,
when humans switched from worshipping Goddesses, conceived as the Mother
and the Earth, to worshipping God the Father in heaven and similar male
divinities and father-like figures. This turning point parallels the time
in a childís life when it switches from seeing its mother as the center
of its life to focus upon its father.
implies that humanity is now about 19 years old, spiritually. It is only
now approaching adulthood, the Adult Age. It predicts the future based
on our current "adolescent" level of spiritual maturity; specifically,
it addresses our chances of survival and predicts the "adult" religion
of the future.
The True End of History: Androgyny and Adult
4 explains the links among the three models, especially the role that feminism
and women will play in the models' last ages. While the first four chapters
cover the basics of the models, the remaining chapters elaborate the details,
using the Caste Model as the central axis. Chapters 5 to 7 explain the
past -- what the first Spiritual-Religious Age, the Warrior Age, and the
Merchant Age were all about. Chapters 8 to 12 deal with the present and
near-future Worker Age. Chapter 8 explains its essentials and Chapter 9
details its peak period, the years from, roughly, 1975 to 2030. It discusses
the coming division of the world into about fifteen blocs, and the rise
of three of them to top world power. These three may be called Confucio
(Japan, China, and reunified Korea), Europa (eastern and western Europe
in a single union), and Polario (the alliance of the countries that surround
the North Pole -- North America [Canada, U.S., Mexico], Russia, Scandinavia).
Chapter 10 discusses the relative power of these three blocs, and offers
an answer to the question: "Did communism really collapse?"
12 answers two pressing questions the Worker Age poses: "Should the United
States, Europe, and other countries imitate Japan?" and "Does capitalism
inevitably go together with democracy and freedom?"
13 to 18 deal with the "last" caste age, the coming Second Spiritual-Religious
Age. Chapter 13 explains its general nature, while Chapters 14 and 15 make
social and political predictions about it, such as more religious revolutions
(beyond those of Iran and Afghanistan) and the resulting rise of the four
great "religious belt" powers of the mid-21st century. It deals with the
future world economic, political, and spiritual power of Israel, India,
16 foresees the economic changes of this last caste age -- all part of the
"spiritualization" of the global economy. Chapter 17 shows how these changes
will help shift top world power from the three great powers of the Worker
Age -- Confucio, Europa, and Polario -- to the four "religious" powers of
this Second Spiritual-Religious Age. Finally, Chapter 18 offers forecasts
about the peak stage of the Second Spiritual-Religious Age, the "final" stage of human history and the transition to superhumanity. It explains
why sub-Saharan Africa and the worldís indigenous cultures will be the
last "great powers" of history.
Linear/Cyclical and the Spiritual Imperative
these chapters, I hope to show that the three models serve the purpose
affirmed in the beginning: Taken together, they provide the subtly shaded
"big picture" we need to understand the past, present, and future in a
way that ties all the seemingly disconnected and chaotic trends and events
of the past and present into a satisfying, orderly whole that enables us
to anticipate even "unpredictable" future directions. The Caste Model,
moreover, allows us to reconcile a major difference between East and West,
that is, the yin, Eastern view of time and history as cyclical, with the
yang Western linear view. By synthesizing these seemingly opposite views,
the model gives us a spiral view, in which time moves forward from age
to age in a linear way, yet at the same time returns to the first age,
as if starting a new cycle, but at a higher level of evolution.
forecasts in these chapters are based on what I believe is a reasonable
interpretation of the models. Yet the reader, contemplating, for instance,
our forecast of a "spiritualized" economic system that virtually equalizes
everyone's share of the economic pie and insures everyone's economic security
(Chapter 16), or of the end of human meat-eating (Chapter 2), may well
say, "No, that forecast is impossible. Itís too idealistic, too far-fetched."
however, bear in mind that forecasts that people can easily accept are
probably useless. History repeatedly surprises us with the unexpected and
unacceptable, with what people say cannot happen. So a serious book
must forecast such things. Second, the issue here is what I call the
"Spiritual Imperative." Constantly confronting everyday evils, hassles,
and conflicts, one often gets carried away and asserts that although humanity
has obviously made scientific, technological, and material progress, it
has made no spiritual progress at all. We are still the same immature,
greedy, selfish, murderous bunch we ever were and will never change. (Though
we may note that people who say this are wise enough not to include themselves
in that murderous bunch.)
this is a false view. Humanity has made steady spiritual progress. At every
stage of history according to all three models, it has increased its spiritual
sensibility and heard Spiritual Imperatives that told it to slough off
old evils, at least in principle if not always in practice. Eventually
practice follows principle. Evils -- a long list of them -- come to mind
that were accepted as entirely natural in earlier ages, but which the Spiritual
Imperative commanded humans to rid themselves of in later ages: cannibalism,
human sacrifice, tyranny, slavery, male supremacy, sport spectacles of
death such as gladiatorial bouts, racism, imperialism, public executions,
witch burnings, and the like.
of slavery is a good example of how the Spiritual Imperative works. People
offer many explanations for why abolition succeeded in the 19th century:
the political will and power of the abolitionists; in the United States,
the power struggle between the North and South and the high moral standards
of President Lincoln; the vitality of religious opposition to slavery;
and others. Economic determinism still commands wide acceptance and some
of the most convincing explanations are economic ones. One of these, for
instance, declared that by supporting abolition, industrial interests were
able both to eliminate the slave labor which plantation agricultural interests,
their competitors, depended on, and at the same time to convert the ex-slaves
into badly-needed cheap labor for their own factories, thus assuring their
own economic-political wealth and power. This support was perhaps crucial
to the success of the abolition movement.
these rational explanations contain truths, but the only explanation that
rings completely true -- to me at least -- is the one based on spiritual
sensitivity rather than reason: that humanity reached a point of spiritual
maturity, sensibility, and awareness where it could no longer tolerate
slavery. The human race was simply responding to a Spiritual Imperative.
In other words, at each stage of history, humanity reached levels of spiritual
awareness where, responding to that Imperative, it could no longer accept
practices and customs like those mentioned, and simply discarded them -- by economic, political, or whatever means available.
in the future, we shall respond to the Spiritual Imperatives of the new
age of history by creating a spiritualized economic system that guarantees
everyone an equal share of economic wealth, and bringing to actuality many
other "impossible" forecasts in this book. Today, as with the issue of
slavery 150 years ago, we debate these issues with economic, ideological,
and ethical arguments, but a century from now, their perceptions cleared,
people will perceive them in the light of the Spiritual Imperatives of
late Ken Woodroofe, of Great Britain, to whom this book is dedicated, was
professor of literature for many years at various universities in the United
States and India before coming to Japan, where he spent his last twenty-seven
years. There he taught for many years at Aoyama Gakuin University and at
Tokyo International College of Commerce and Economics, and later at various
colleges during his "retirement." Professor Woodroofe was the organizer
of the regular series of lectures held under the auspices of the Unitarian
Fellowship of Japan, at International House, Tokyo. Many of the ideas in
this book were presented for the first time at several of these lectures.
I am deeply grateful for his sustained encouragement and promotional support,
which helped me in various ways to get my ideas before the public.
grandmother often told me, "You canít do anything without other peopleís
help." Iíve never tested the absolute truth of this statement, and I suspect
there are exceptions, but it was certainly true for me. That is why I wish
to thank friends and colleagues who helped, supported, and encouraged
me in putting this book together.
of all, I wish to thank my editor, Dr. Maxwell Luria, professor of English
literature at Temple University in Philadelphia and Tokyo. Second, I wish
to thank Bill Kelly, who edited the contents of the book. These two gentlemen
understood this book better than myself, and thus convinced me of its
worth and importance.
wish to thank Joel Diamond, who, together with severe criticism and continual
encouragement, made it possible for me to put the book together physically;
and Shulamith Firestone, founder and leading theorist of the Radical Feminist
Movement. In her book The Dialectic of Sex, she corrects defects in the
Marxist model by explaining the feminist big picture of history. As friend
and visionary, she helped shape my mind to look for the big picture in
my own reflections.
to acknowledge with gratitude those who gave me help, encouragement, and
support in many other different ways: Jutta Assbichler, Dr. Karl Rueff,
Kazuko Abe Rueff, Martin Hrycenko, Dr. Carole Marks, Paul Siudzinski, Liz
Rich, Gerda Rühl, Rhoda Curtis, Susan Gordon, Rose Vitola, Terry Browning,
Joe Carter, Gunnel Rasmussen Torres, Debra von Rohr, Rochelle Katz, Mary
Dawne Arden, Judy Steele, Philip J. Hodes, Masanori Une and Michael D.
Magee of Tokyo Planning Space Co., my sponsor in Japan, and the Indian,
Chinese, and Western philosophers whose ideas helped me crystallize my
I wish to thank whoever or whatever She, He, or It was who mysteriously
put the basic ideas for the book in my head when I was least expecting
1996 / 2001