I certainly hope something like this hopeful view of the social, technological, and environmental transformations remaking our world is the operative metaphor for our present historical moment. While I am skeptical of its sponsor, the Institute of Noetic Sciences, for lacking rigor in its approach, I respect the intent and vision of this video.

I am reminded of a metaphor used by Tim Allen, a favorite college professor, in which he compared our present place in history as one caught between the changing of two wall hangings, representing the conflict of worldviews. The first worldview, the mythic traditionalist understanding of the world and our place in it, is an intricate tapestry that has become threadbare and moth-eaten over the centuries. The once beautiful, seamless picture of the world depicted in the tapestry, with its clear, unchanging, stable place for humanity, at home under king and God, has steadily deteriorated with the passage of time, from the belching pollution of the industrial revolution, the flitting, gnawing, insatiable moth of consumer appetites, and the universal acid of scientific understanding. Many cling to the old tapestry as beautiful and comforting and lament its deterioration, finding repulsive the pocky, mottled, disconnected scenes presented to view by a tapestry left in tatters under the forces of modernity. These caretakers of the tapestry want to patch it, to stitch it back together, to make it whole and beautiful once again. What they fail to realize is that there is a new tapestry, even more beautiful, even more seamless, and of even stronger weave, being woven behind it to take its place. We are beginning to see this new tapestry show through in places where the old tapestry has worn the most. This new tapestry portrays vast and awe-inspiring vistas charted by scientific exploration, on a weft and warp of reason and logic, with a golden thread which connects us to one another and to the world through compassion, dignity, and respect. This new understanding we are coming to, this new tapestry we are weaving, while in many ways different from the old one, offers no less grandeur, and no less significance, than the threadbare one it replaces.

That, too, is a hopeful metaphor, and one I hope reflects our moment in history.