In 1999, the two authors of Prayers for a Thousand Years invited me to contribute a piece to their book. It is now 2021. Plenty of countries say their young people come of age at 21.
Writers worldwide wrote prayers, gave blessings, comments, wrote stories and gave poetic utterances.
Here was my contribution
WHERE IS THIS NEW MILLENNIUM?
Where is this new Millennium? Where on Earth can it be found?
What extraordinary creatures we are.
We delight or anguish over a dissolving event. What we make of it is what we make of it.
It is not only the notion of a new Millennium that is puzzling, but the corresponding notion that there are countries on this earth, which we think also bear a true reality. Where on earth are these countries?
What a strange species we are, fighting and killing over the notion of countries.
Ah, I know what you are thinking. Animals are territorial. They do the same thing. Ah, so are we animals with sophisticated weapons? Do we really wish to protect areas by marking boundaries that we have urinated upon?
Where is this new Millennium? Is there anything tangible about it? Is there anything out there in nature that communicates this so-called major event?
What strange creatures we are. We wish to impose a non-reality on Earth’s simple reality, free from days, decades, years, and countries. Ah, I know what you are thinking. We must celebrate this historical moment. It could help us to forge a new beginning. But how could investing in the number 2000 do that?
What is this new Millennium? Nothing more, nothing less than a thought in the mind. With projection, investment and identification, we can make a big event out of the number. Are we going to be like Hollywood stars, clever at being some one that we are not? Clever at projecting ourselves onto a millennium?
Let us be clear. Let us be free from the razzmatazz of a number, of a dreamworld.
Let us celebrate instead the ending in our mind of any reality to the vain idea of 2000. Puncture the myth of our New Millennium.
Let us celebrate the ending of numbers and divisions.
Let us explode the myth of the nation state and its contribution to urinating upon the earth.
Let us instead stand together on this wondrous earth and know our enlightened freedom, untainted by hype and horror.
PRAYERS FOR A THOUSAND YEARS
Inspiration from Leaders and Visionaries around the World
Edited by Elizabeth Roberts and Elias Amidon
Published by Harper, San Francisco.
1999. 360 pages.