Before we understood that matter in the universe tends to form spheres and that we live on one of those, people assumed the world is more or less flat. Religions tended to view the sky as the province of deities, so transcendence was spacial. We’re on earth and God is (or the gods are) up there.

As we learned more about earth as sphere, we began to think of transcendence not so much bridging a geographical or spacial gap. Rather, transcendence is about time–being invited (by God or by each other) to be part of a future that is better than our past or this present moment.

Believers rightfully ask, “What is God’s preferred future?” Non-theists, those with a secular view, and perhaps people in general rightfully ask, “What is our preferred future?” In either case: Where, and to what, is the future calling us? This week I’ll share some thoughts about this from some of my mentors.

From “Imagining the Future Invokes Your Memory,” by Wray Herbert, Scientific American, May 1, 2012

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