At Universal Enlightenment Forum (UEF) our mission is to significantly enhance human flourishing by ushering humanity into a new and universal enlightenment based on secular concepts, marrying timeless wisdom from ancient belief systems with the findings of modern science.
We are convinced that now is the right time to launch such a movement. This is because the amount of knowledge we have acquired about our world through progress in math, philosophy, law, medicine, science, and technology is nothing short of miraculous, considering our species’ recent origins and our humble beginnings as hunter-gatherers.
This knowledge has enabled us to create immense amounts of material wealth and significantly improve our material lives. Yet we have not yet made commensurate progress in human flourishing. The problem is that this knowledge is fragmented and sits mostly in silos of different institutions as well as in our minds and there are very inadequate institutional arrangements for integration. In addition, during our growing up process, we start to live our lives compulsively driven by dominant false narratives that lead us astray from our core purpose which is Loving, Learning and Playing. This is a key insight from our work so far. The core effort in this movement is to understand that if we are selected to Love, Learn, and Play, then why don’t we? And how to get back to living our lives consciously to be fully aligned with our true nature and purpose.
We have taken this massive task as we know that we can harness the power of the internet and internet-enabled platforms to communicate with a global audience. In order to achieve this, we will need new institutions, such as this one, but more importantly, we will need a mass awakening at the individual level. Fortunately, as history marches, individual freedom has increased with political power gradually moving from a few to many, but this has not resulted in the empowerment of the masses to live authentic lives necessary for flourishing to our full potential. We believe that the next generation has realized this contradiction and is asking and seeking answers to the existential questions. However, they are not finding these answers through science, traditional religions or modern religions-democracy, capitalism, competition, or consumption. We want to put a framework which gathers insights that may be as old as us or be the latest findings from neuroscience, but they appeal to modern sensibilities and empower each one of us individually to flourish to our full potential
As part of our mission, to start with, we are working on the production of two books.
In the first book, we focus on detailing our key insights about our core authentic self which knows its ultimate ends, and is supposed to be directed towards loving, learning, and playing. As we age and socialization occurs, our authentic selves are too often mutated into socially constructed selves that steer us away from our true inner nature and purpose. Instead of going about our lives consciously engaging in loving, learning, and playing in different contexts, we are misdirected towards other ends by false narratives or we become too focused on the means to our ends and in so doing we lose sight of our real purpose.
In this book, we will look at sources as varied as religious texts from 2,000 BCE India to the latest scientific journals and everywhere and everything in between and beyond. We will see how much of the wisdom from the past was, in fact, correct, even if it used imagery/context that was more local than universal. We will also see how modern sciences, including neuroscience, can help us to unlock our true authentic selves.
In the second book, we focus on exploring the many significant commonalities between religions. Although it has been en vogue in recent years to concentrate on our differences, we believe that this hinders our understanding of each other, ourselves, and our true purpose in life. By seeing that there are more core fundamental similarities between religions and religious people, especially when we interpret the teachings metaphorically, we hope to show how we are much more common in thought than many may have been led to believe and overcome exclusivism which could be one of the most dangerous fault lines for humanity’s future
These two books are the starting point of our mission. They will provide a solid intellectual foundation on which we will continuously build. We will be writing blogs regularly. We will be holding forums inviting thought leaders from all perspectives as long their loyalty is to the entire human race and not sectarian
Please join in the effort as this is our effort together. Together we can bring into existence a new historical moment as momentous as when we first harnessed the power of fire. In the words of Teilhard de Chardin, we believe that we are on the verge of a second momentous occasion that will be as big a deal as when we first harnessed the power of fire. This time though we shall fully harness our authentic selves in richer yet be fully directed towards loving, learning, and playing.
Our mission is to be the forum for integration in the world of enlightenment & human flourishing that other organizations such as The World Economic Forum have played for economics & development. The world needs more enlightenment than economics now and in the future.
We have a long road to go, but we need to start the journey together before it is too late.