Game of Gods:
The Temple of Man in the Age of Re-Enchantment
By Carl Teichrib
* The following is an excerpt from the first pages of chapter 2.
The Planetized Generation
A global democracy of children… The first place to organize is in our schools. – Youth of the World.
Global Citizenship Education should strive to be a holistic and transformative experience. – UNESCO.
“If we’re going to shift the foundation of the way things are done on this planet, people have to shift the way they think,” wrote Desmond Berghofer, co-convener of the Global Citizenship 2000 Youth Congress, in his novel The Visioneers. “The battlefront is now at the level of the mind. The ultimate force is mindpower.”
To shift the way we think, from archaic traditionalism to progressive futurism, was a primary goal of the Congress. With our minds remade and emotions stirred, our Saturday afternoon assignment was to use our collective mind-power and collaborate for action. Breaking into working groups, each cell brainstormed “Millennium Projects” via “hold fire and think” exercises: a game meant to expand on previously accepted outcomes, but with no room to critically analyze the fundamental nature of our quest. “Valid concerns” and “gut feelings” could be raised about specific ideas, overcome through group dialogue and consensus, but the dogma of Oneness and global unity was beyond question.
However, there was little concern that Congress participants would challenge the underlying assumptions. After all, the elixir of positive reinforcement – that we were enlightened members of a “transformed species” poised to change the world – was too heady to resist. Educators and students alike saw themselves as ambassadors of Oneness. As our symbolic Global Citizenship 2000 Passports read, “You are the Earth become conscious of herself.”
In reality, we were play-acting the script of Berghofer’s 1992 Visioneering novel. In its pages a diverse group of illuminated youth recognize and respond to the Earth-destroying chaos of separation, leading the way to a planetary synthesis through their interconnected visioneering. From beginning to end, the book preached.
Geraldine Schwartz, the other Congress co-convener, reminded us that “our minds, our consciousness has got to be equal to the task of the future…” And what a task! As Berghofer’s epic novel imparted,
We begin by understanding that the world can and does have a mind. It’s a manifestation of the collective conscious of all the minds existing on the planet. The great project in the 21st century will be the gathering of these minds into a single, resolute purpose for the betterment of Earth and everyone on it. The nation state that we have designed is an imperfect concept. At best it’s a stepping stone to the place where we must now go: planetary stewardship. And we can’t get there unless we turn five and a half billion minds from a multitude of cultural ignorances into a unified mindframe. They must see that human fellowship in union with the life systems of the planet is the only possible way for a decent future life.
Creating that mindscape is the momentous task of our band of Visioneers. They must seek out the pressure points and touch them to move the power levers of politics and wealth and military might with a new more powerful force: enlightened visions of human destiny… That’s the mission of our Visioneers.
Engaging in “visioneering” that Saturday afternoon, each Congress team offered up dreams and ideas reflecting planetary loyalties.
Suggestions included the launching of a youth-based United Nations, setting up international student conferences to show the adult world what needs to be done, starting SCREAM clubs (“Students Concerned Regarding Environment and Mother Earth”), and developing school-based interfaith groups and global citizenship cells. Others talked of establishing a Global Citizenship Day and fostering Earth Pride. Another suggestion was to lobby for the creation of a Global Ministry of Planetary Preservation. A participating Bahá’í school recommended a Youth Communications Network to coordinate student-directed global citizenship programs. One team called to zero-out world debt, abolish money, and issue everyone a biometric card with a points-system based on your occupation and its value to the planet. Health care, access to education, and daily food and shelter would be tied to your positive contribution to the “common good.”
At the table next to mine, a group of junior-high girls exemplified the new paradigm in a one-act play. “Mother Earth” sat on a round table with pine boughs held aloft, then, one after another, students laid hands on Mother and made confession: “I’m guilty… of wasting water… wasting electricity… killing animals by wearing leather sandals… polluting the environment when I’m fully aware of the oil leak in my dad’s car.” In turn Mother Earth forgave each child as they vowed to redeem their eco-sins.
Robert Muller, the UN “prophet of hope,” spurred us on by sharing his many achievements. He told us about planting the seed of the United Religions Initiative during the 1993 Parliament of the World’s Religions and then again, in 1995, at the 50th anniversary of the United Nations in San Francisco.
“I almost cannot believe they listened to me,” he beamed. “I will be the father of the United Religions!”
Muller elaborated on his vision for a politically managed planet. He suggested different approaches to world order, encouraging the pursuit of each: Empower the United Nations into a “United States of the World,” form a constitutional World Federation, integrate continental regions – creating an American Union and an African Union – and then bring these together with the European Union into a “World Union,” establish communities around dominant terrestrial features such as a Pacific Community, an Atlantic Community, an Arctic Community – even a Desert Community, uniting countries around a shared arid landscape – and the “great rivers of Amazon should be practically one region where the people should be with nature.”
Muller pressed the need to “acquire new values and behavior.” If we didn’t change for the global good then “all life on this planet will extinguish.” The weight of the world’s salvation was placed on our shoulders. It was an emotionally charged call-of-duty. “Either you change your values, or you don’t,” explained the Prophet of Hope. “If you change, if you consider the Earth as being number one, your Mother, then it will change.”
The flip side was that if we continued to consume and express the wrong values, “you will be the responsible generation of having to put an end to all life on this planet.” Students responded; one 14-year old, with tears running down her face, called for an end to children. Reproduction was a sin.
The spiritual outlook required to save the world was to recognize the “basic truth” as given by “Jesus, by Mohammad, by these emissaries from outer space.” What was this basic truth? The cosmos incarnating itself through our collective divinity,
You are not children of Canada, you are really living units of the cosmos because the Earth is a cosmic phenomena… we are all cosmic units. This is why religions tell you, you are divine. We are divine energy… it is in your hands whether evolution on this planet continues or not…
This paralleled what Muller wrote in his book, New Genesis: Shaping a Global Spirituality, published while he was UN Assistant-Secretary-General,
…humankind is seeking no less than its reunion with the ‘divine,’ its transcendence into ever higher forms of life. Hindus call our earth Brahma, or God, for they rightly see no difference between our earth and the divine. This ancient simple truth is slowly dawning upon humanity. Its full flowering will be the real, great new story of humanity, as we are about to enter our cosmic age and to become what we were always meant to be: the planet of God.
As an independent attendee of the Global Citizenship congress I was assigned to a team of university students who hoped to become educators. This group was focused on tangible ways to integrate Muller’s World Core Curriculum in the classroom. How? was the question.
Game of Gods is available on Amazon.
 “Youth of the World” represents the “10,000 children in 200 groups in 75 countries” that participated in the Rescue Mission project. Rescue Mission Planet Earth: A Youth Edition of Agenda 21, (Kingfisher Books/Peace Child International, 1994, in association with the United Nations, UNESCO, UNEP, UNICEF, UNDP, and Government of Canada), p.84.
 Final Report – Second UNESCO Forum on Global Citizenship Education: Building Peaceful and Sustainable Societies (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, 28-30 January 2015), p.6, paragraph 13.
 Desmond E. Berghofer, The Visioneers: A Courage Story about Belief in the Future (Creating Learning International Press, 1992), p.34-35.
 Ibid., p.37.
 All Congress dialogues in this chapter are taken from notes and recordings of the event.
 At the time, the United Religions Initiative (URI) was still in development. It was not until the year 2000 that the URI was officially chartered.
 Robert Muller, New Genesis: Shaping a Global Spirituality (World Happiness and Cooperation, 1982/1989), p.49.