In Greek mythology, the evils of the world were explained through the legend of Pandora. The Gods had given her a box that contained all the ills of the world. One day, she opened it out of curiosity and bad things flew out. In the end, the only thing left in Pandora’s box was hope. In many ways, this is what Tri Worlds: It’s Time to Think as a Species by Gil Mulley is all about. In a time characterized by so much turmoil, Mulley outlines a way to improve the world for our species as a whole.
Mulley begins by identifying three worlds that make up reality. The Natural World encompasses the jungles, oceans, and ecosystems of earth. The Human-made World is that of skyscrapers and cars; it is also a place where mathematics, language, economics, and other fields flourish. The third world is the Ethereal World. This is the mental “me”—a place of thoughts, feelings, emotions, and faith. Mulley argues that people must learn to be aware that these three worlds overlap, and that we are living in all of them at the same time. He writes, “we suffer individually and collectively when we fail to understand these worlds because we end up denying our reality … when we accept tri-worlds reality we empower ourselves, we become mature(finally) and we may even feel fulfilled and actualized about our lives.”
While each world is examined in its own chapter, Mulley also devotes a section to what he calls the human paradox: each person is unique, he says, but also the same as everyone else. Because of this, people need to focus on making sure that each individual in the human species has a basic quality of life. Mulley asserts that “If every individual can accept their sameness as readily as their own individuality then there’s hope for the future of the species.”
Mulley uses crystal-clear prose to outline an urgent plea for change and to develop a passionately drawn road map for the future. His ideas are complex and they have to be—he asserts that the fate of the world is literally hanging on them. However, while he makes a strong case, Mulley’s thesis includes only a handful of sources to defend parts of his argument in the Natural World section. His case would be much stronger if he brought in more sources overall.
Tri Worlds should be of interest to environmentalists, futurists, religious leaders, and people of similar areas of expertise. Make no mistake, though—this book is aimed at everyone. The steps that Mulley outlines are for all of humanity to live in the three worlds. And in his writing, there is a general sense of hope that people indeed have the potential to think as a species, and will. It is worth reading about Mulley’s plan, because executing it could put at least some of the world’s ills back into Pandora’s box.
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