I’m listening to the audio books of Eragon, a fantasy trilogy in a medieval world filled with magic and fantastical creatures. Maybe the most mysterious, wondrous folk is the elves: They live forever and barely have any children. Elves live in sustainable co-existence with nature, helping all surrounding life to strive, and modify their environment as little possible, using organic design principles. Elves can fulfill their every need and desire with magic. With the bread and butter taken care of, elves life a simple life and use their freedom to dedicate themselves to craft and art. Since any creation can be (re)created with magic, the value of things is not possession, but the process of creation itself. The path is the goal. Compared to the dark age humans, elves are perfect and transcended the ugly aspects of worldliness.
Compared to the medieval humans in the book, privileged humans today are already halfway elves: Our lives are long, we don’t have many children anymore, and we can not only fulfill our basic needs without much effort, even most desires for possessions. We’re able to do plenty of the described magic, like communicating in real time over long distances.
Arguably, within a 1000 years - if we don’t destroy ourselves before that - we could get much closer to the elves even still. Our life spans will be much longer, more sicknesses will be treatable, and we’ll be able to satisfy even more of our needs and desires, more sustainably.
Thanks to technology.
Utopia is possible, I’m confident.
If only I could be as confident that we will use these capabilities to live more freely. In harmony with our environment and all living. And focus not on worldly richness, but prioritize the simple joy of creation and culture.
Let’s grow into elves!