Think upside!

As 2012 begins, the world situation is building to a crescendo of turbulence and fluidity, with profound shifts underway on multiple fronts.

Two major historical tendencies, on a convergent path for years, are now reaching a historic crossing point. The established culture of modernity has been following a long path of decline, and the rising culture of transmodernity has been inexorably climbing to eclipse it.

The moment of crossover is like a mirror-fold in time, when the ascending upsides and descending downsides meet, converging in a fleeting moment of equal power, which pushes open the door of possibility to its widest extent.

This is a zone of maximum reflexivity, when the feedback of beliefs and intentions into the real situation is more powerful than ever before. This is the real meaning of 2012: it is an amplifier of possibility.

Things could go either way. Now is when our mere attitudes about the future can make a decisive difference. Here is a tipping point in time where we can choose to jump from the down escalator of history onto the up one.

This juncture calls for a pervasive attitude of constructive optimism. It is too late to debate the relative merits of optimistic versus pessimistic views of the future. Now the main risk is getting caught in the downdraft of pessimism, for here is an opening of maximum creativity. The ideas we debate now will crystallize into the template of the era to come – the transmodern civilization being born.

We are about to experience a long moment when events, after rushing at us faster than ever before, suddenly hang suspended in an interval of absolute possibility. During this moment our creativity will be total and our willingness to envision the world to come will be paramount. We must all be ready together to invent the world we want. Then time can restart, for our vision to become real in the years that follow.

The existential challenge as we approach this moment is to let go of all sense of dependence on old ways of doing things. Instead to trust the power of collaborative creativity to find new ways of organising the world that accords with a new prospect of humans as enlightened beings.

We need to frame an economics that has at its core an enlightened view of humans as altruistic and generous. We need to sweep away the old economics founded on a Hobbesian view of mankind as selfish and greedy egotists, which can only give rise to a society that is also selfish, greedy and egotistical.

We need a reformed technology. Our existing technology inhabits the living sphere on this planet, yet it is a regime of mechanical insensitivity. It has lifted our conditions of life, but now it must be lifted up itself before it brings destruction to the realm of life.

We need a shift in our story of the world. We have been living in an industrial culture that explained itself through centre-out mass media. We need to foster a new story about living in an eco-spiritual culture of everywhere-to-everywhere communications fomented by the internet.

Heed the most profound slogan of the Occupy movement – "Occupy Yourself." It is an invitation to join in spirit the tranformative creative debates of the Occupy movement, embattled in real space but ascendant in virtual social space.

Release your grip on the old ways, or be dragged down as they slip below the surface of history. Reach for the rising newness that delivers on a promise to lift us above the horizon of time.

These are catalytic times. Times when even a powerless fruit seller in Tunisia is able to trigger a wave of geopolitical change. This new year of 2012 is wide open to the future and able to amplify the constructive impulse of every individual. Understand this power as positive creation, rather than fearing its downside image of riotous consumerism.

Be constructive, be optimistic: think upside!