Part 4 of 4
History doesn’t repeat itself, but it often rhymes.
We can also use theories.
Using the Strauss-Howe Generational Theory to attempt to predict anything precisely is abuse, misuse, and misunderstanding of the concept. It, however, is the kind of a theory that practically invites it. It’s a macroscopic theory. The natural temptation is to apply it to the particular.
What if we try to use the theory while keeping that in mind? Only the future will tell us how we did. We can also ensure we avoid hyperbole by noting that we’re not speaking of every last person when we look back at Edgar Cayce to look ahead. We’re not going to say everybody is going to abandon scientific evidence in health care. All we’re saying is that more will.
By 1942 Cayce had founded the Association for Research and Enlightenment. He wasn’t widely known at that point. That was going to change after the publication of Thomas Sugrue’s book There Is A River. Cayce died in 1945.
If we consider the Millennial Generation as today’s equivalent of the W.W.II generation (both of which are considered “Hero” generations in the theory’s terminology), 2026 is the equivalent of 1942 in the cycle. While 1942 was the height of World War II, like the Battle of Midway, we’ll emphasize that it doesn’t mean that there’s going to be a war. It refers instead to social trends.
For example, the Republican Generation (born 1742 to 1766) was 39 years old in 1781. In October 1781, the decisive battle of the American Revolution occurred, the Seige of Yorktown. In the years immediately after, the British vanquished, there was a political struggle over the direction of the country. In the coming years, the Republican Generation took center stage in putting the country together.
After their respective wars, in both cases, members of both of those generations had to face the task of fixing a post-war America. In both cases, the earliest members of those generations are going to be approaching midlife at 39 years of age.
Should there be a war, it likely won’t involve as many Americans as W.W. II or the Revolutionary War. The military is becoming a specialized segment of society. Wars are likely to be fought by a small minority of the population. That’s a significant difference between our near future and distant past.
So, in light of that, here are a few trends that emerge by looking backward at the life of Edgar Cayce:
- A future Cayce could come in and effect some really amazing cures. Social media could make it popular. Inevitably, the future Cayce would be decried as a fraud. He’s an economic threat, and he goes against the evidence-based Western tradition. There will be some who will seek to discredit him or her by “explaining” how the cures are affected.
- Personal Wearable Technology — Cayce said anyone could do what he did. It could get significantly easier to do that by using biofeedback technology.
- There are a lot of new ideas out there. Maybe more than a future Edgar Cayce, big impacts will be made by future Marco Polos. Through targeting, new ideas and products are offered to one group and not another. When it comes to health and other consumer products, big impacts can be made by people who bridge groups; people like Marco Polo who take a product that’s targeted toward one group and interpreting it for another. Add biofeedback technology, an Edgar Cayce, a Marco Polo, and artificial intelligence, and you’ve got a combination that could upend the universe of human potential and healthcare.
- As fortunes made by these future Marco Polos become reported and well-known, a person’s genetic race will start to be less and less of a factor with others. The proportion of mixed-race people will grow. This will be seen as less useful. Such data will be seen as a hindrance, as various groups experience even today. True diversity will come to be seen as thought diversity. Experiences are influenced by your exterior and others’ assumptions based on your exterior, but it’s also how you react to it. Diversity is a good thing provided it remains compatible. Look for alternate ways of measuring diversity besides somebody’s race or skin color. Social compliance in those left behind will be brought off by a guaranteed basic income or other social control. We can look to China to see how it might happen. Our parallel decade in this is the civil rights movement. That was just getting off the ground in the 1940s. It followed a progression for years afterward, so this trend may take as long.
- Money will be rethought. This might happen because of the endless printing of the U.S. dollar and other currencies that leads to an eventual collapse. On the other hand, this might be because cryptocurrency takes hold giving the USD serious competition. This might be because, apart from some high-cost areas, it doesn’t take much to live, provided you don’t have expensive student loans, exorbitant medical bills, an expensive car, or a smartphone. You can get along a little with low-cost internet access and a simple diet. Part of the function of money is to keep score. Other ways will be invented. Various groups will introduce local currencies as a way to encourage local development and community building. Healthcare makes up one-sixth of the U.S. economy by some measure. Though that figure can be debated, the point is that it’s a lot. Faith healers like Cayce work for free.
- This trend will coincide with a movement to go offline. Smartphones will increasingly be seen as a bane. Being tracked online will be seen as a bane, and stories of abuse will proliferate. Though much business will have moved online, there will be a movement to reconcile this.
- Personal awareness and mindfulness will continue to grow and be taught even in school. This will be important to take advantage of being a Marco Polo (as explained above), to understand thought diversity, and as a matter of self-defense to avoid being exploited.
- Going to space could once again get fashionable, especially if China clamps down on access to rare earth minerals. Oil isn’t the strategic asset it was about 20 years ago due to its wide availability. Rare earth minerals, on the other hand, could become that way. We will need to explore and locate these minerals. If we find them, we will need to mine them in space.
- On the other hand, here’s a contrary view. This field is complex and the information is often contradictory. It’s changing, and since space travel costs are falling, space mining could happen anyway because of security concerns.
- It’s not usually discussed because of big-media’s centralization in New York and other large urban markets but we’ll be looking at a rural renaissance. That’s going to come as a surprise to many. The Dream Recovery System is located near Marfa, Texas. Marfa has proven to be attractive to many transplanted New Yorkers. Having been to New York, it’s no wonder why. There’s the clear, open sky. No traffic in comparison to New York City. You can know your neighbors and find a group of like-minded people. The internet can mitigate many of the disadvantages. Such a life can be indescribably great. This trend will go beyond Marfa because income is so portable. Tulsa, Oklahoma, has taken to paying these digital nomads to relocate. It’s easier to recruit one highly-paid professional at a time because the effort is more likely to bear fruit. Attracting Amazon is all or nothing. Why wouldn’t other places follow? There is a direct economic threat here, too, so of course, this is going to be controversial. Yet, for the right people in the right industries, it makes too much sense. Cayce moved to a town that was relatively small in those days: Virginia Beach, Virginia.
- Artificial intelligence and genetic information will be combined to understand nutrition like never before. Diet plays a big part in disease prevention. Insights will combine. Chefs of the future are going to produce a golden age of creativity.
Now, reader, it’s your turn to speculate. Looking back at the New Age movement, Edgar Cayce and other developments what do you think the future might hold?
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James Cobb, RN, MSN, is an emergency department nurse and the founder of the Dream Recovery System. His goal is to provide his readers with simple, actionable ways to improve their health and maximize their quality of life.
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