“Do not fear the apocalypse. Today’s world is better than yesterday’s. Tomorrow’s will be better than today’s, as humanity trips over the threshold of a new Age.” So wrote the Reverend Friend Farmer in 2021, years before he came to be known as a Father of the New Age.
By 2104, when The Reefsong Series is set, ‘the Farmer’s’ philosophies overshadow the lives of everyday people, like air steward Kieron Keats and his daughter, Teria, on the verge of university graduation—people doing their best to survive and thrive among the inherent goodness and the selfish, stumbling foolishness of New Age Man.
Let’s hear the rest of what the Farmer had to say.
“In the days that come we will harvest the carbon from the air—we begin even now—and so stabilize the global environment. We will permit the oceans and the land to heal, and live increasingly in balance with the planet.
We will eat better, and more of us will eat more often; food growth will continue, although what we eat will change. We will solve the riddle of most of today’s horrific diseases and start work on the new ones that come to take their place.
We will extend the human lifespan and healthspan, so that a hundred years of mentally and physically active living will become the norm rather than the exception, and we will of course take this for granted and want more.
Nano-scale tools will bring methods and benefits beyond current expectations. This is the technology that will change the world.
And we will eventually work through the paradoxical challenge of artificial intelligence—and when we do, we will better appreciate what it means to be human for, when it comes, understanding the essence of what we are and offer to each other will be the key to our survival.
And for every solution will come a new problem. And people will continue to suffer, day to day.
How do I know this? I don’t, of course. But grasp a thread into the near future—go on, I dare you, pick any one—and ease it slowly and fearlessly out and what you’ll see is humanity advancing according to all the critical indicators, and humanity struggling with itself. For this is what we are, and what we will continue to be.
For every visionless clown seeking political power, for every lad who wants to be a laird and live off the backs of others—and there will be many—there are more women and men using the best of what they are for the betterment of the planet and the race. And the tools they have to do it with improve at breakneck pace.”
We are human. We are here to learn.
As for the series title, in a later piece the Farmer wrote (talking about when things go bad):
“We ask, of course, whether such great suffering is part of a larger plan. Isn’t it comforting to think so? But perhaps this, too, is but self-expression at work: an expression of the Great Human Reef, our one human Self, the being of connected humanity that thrives across all the dimensions. Reefsong, perhaps, in descending notes—is that what the hard times are?”