As we enter a New Year, many people feel hopeless about the state of the world. They look for evidence to support a feeling of hope but find none.
Radical Hope is the ability to feel Hopeful in the absence of “evidence” to sustain it. It is based on the notion that good will come out of this (whatever This is) even if there is no evidence for it quite yet.
Radical Hope is rooted in the faith that everything has a spiritual origin, a purpose, and as such – it is imbued with goodness, even if I don’t yet see it.
The concept was coined by philosopher Jonathan Lear who authored ‘Radical Hope‘ in 2008. What makes hope ‘radical’ according to Jonathan Lear, is that “it is directed toward a future goodness and it anticipates a good for which those who have the hope but as yet lack the appropriate concepts with which to understand it.”
As 2024 dawns, we have a choice:
We can despair about the global state of affairs, feel hopeless, dejected, depressed, void of horizons… All of which leave Spirit out of the equation.
Or, if we believe Spirit permeates everything, we need to recruit our Faith in the service of mining for Radical Hope within us, even as the world seems bleak and void of hope.
The word Faith in Hebrew, EMUN, comes from the same root as the word Practice: IMUN
What this teaches us is that faith is not a given, unwavering, unchangeable state of affairs, which one either possesses or not. Rather, faith is a matter of practice, of exercising, like a muscle. We can tone it daily, or let it grow out-of-shape and limp…
Faith can certainly not come from outside
It is our personal responsibility to exercise and tone it regularly, to develop it moment by moment. We need not look at the world, but rather turn our gaze inward: at our trust in Spirit as the Force behind everything.
If we feel Spirit’s presence, at least occasionally… Hear its whisper from time to time… Sense it’s touch inexplicably, now and then — then this is all the evidence we need. This is the demonstration of Spirit having taken root in us. It is now our job to water, nourish, and grow it from an acorn to an oak!
This is what Radical Hope is:
Daily weeding of doubts, consciously rejecting despair, bravely exercising Faith as a muscle, drawing strength from our inner knowing that Spirit guides our affairs, globally and personally, and that Spirit is Benevolent!