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The decision to close our minds to the present closes our beings to the future

After a recent presentation before a group of entrepreneurs where I was asked to talk about the emerging future, one of the participants approached me and asked me why I had wasted his time and the other entrepreneurs’ time talking about the future because “everything it is already written and explained in the Apocalypse” (Revelation, the book of Christian scriptures).

In another presentation, this time on the dangerous and tortuous transition from modern times to postmodern times (and possibly to a post-biological humanity), one of the participants told me, in direct and almost vulgar terms, that she only listens to presentations. by women. (I wonder why she waited until the end of the presentation to say so).

And on yet another occasion, where the theme chosen by the organizer was the historical origins of Christianity (specifically, the undeniable influence of Stoicism on Christian ethics) one of the participants, through an intermediary, let me know of his “displeasure" of my "ignorance" of what he called "the truth," as opposed to my "lies about history."

At the same time, this good man stated in his message to me that "the Bible" (his words) had been written "by Jesus in the Middle Ages, some 800 years after the birth of Christ." And he added: "Learn more about history, Francisco."

How do you dialogue with someone who, when he hears the word "future", immediately thinks of the Apocalypse and, worse still, based on an erroneous and limited interpretation of that text so full of symbolism, that man decides that it is not necessary to speak about the future?

How do you dialogue with someone who decides to listen to someone else based on a person's gender or sexual orientation, but not based on what that other person says? How is this attitude different from judging someone by the color of their skin, but not by the content of their character?

How do you dialogue with someone who, when faced with the historical context of their beliefs, decides to focus their energies on the presumed ignorance of the presenter, leaving aside all reference to their own obvious ignorance?

In all cases, the answer is the same: no dialogue is possible. And since authentic dialogue is a double opening towards one's own vulnerability and simultaneously towards still unexplored realities, to refuse dialogue is to close oneself to the future. 

Some years ago, I heard someone say that one of the ways that God (however you understand it) punishes certain people is by allowing those people to believe what they believe. I'm not so sure that's true, but in certain cases, like the ones mentioned above, it appears to be.

Be that as it may, a high price is paid for reducing the multidimensionality of human experience to the straitjacket of an ideology: the price of never seeing the future realized, that is, of never becoming what one really is. Opening oneself to the future is such a transformational experience that no ideological straitjacket can ever stop. 

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