The Club of Budapest is committed to promoting and facilitating a worldwide movement keynoted by the advance from thinking in terms of the existing limits to growth, to the emerging chances of evolution. It pursues this crucial objective by motivating and highlighting the unfolding of the consciousness—the thinking, feeling, and perceptions—of contemporary people through a set of highly focused and coordinated yet autonomously managed projects, implemented with the advice and active participation of its Members, its Ambassadors and Trustees, and its worldwide network of Regional Centers. This is not a “mission impossible.” It is one of the essential missions of our times.
In the second decade of the 21st century we live in an epoch of transition; witnessing the deepest and fastest transformation in the history of humanity. This transformation is not without crises and difficulties, the birthpangs of a coming age. To meet the challenge it poses calls for more than piecemeal action and short-term problem-solving. As Einstein remarked, we cannot solve a problem with the same kind of thinking that gave rise to that problem. The critical factor in coping with today’s mushrooming problems is the thinking of today’s people. The approaching crises we face are due to ways of thinking and acting that lag behind the needs of the times.
Updating and upgrading our ways of thinking and acting is a challenging task, but not an intractable one. The required concepts are largely known, the indicated technologies and practices are for the most part already developed. The missing factor is the commitment of people young and old to the objectives, and their willingness to adopt the corresponding practices. If this hiatus is to be filled, intellectual understanding alone is not enough. We need the kind of understanding that come both from the heart and the mind; the kind that can enable us to grasp the issues and potential solutions, and give us the will and the motivation to act on them. In addition to intellectual understanding, we need feeling and intuition, fresh values and a new commitment. In the last analysis we need a more evolved consciousness. Living in the 21st century with the consciousness that hallmarked the 20th century would be like living in the modern age with the consciousness of the Middle Ages. It would be not only inappropriate, but dangerous.
Having a consciousness that is in tune with our times means evolving it to the dimension where we can understand as well as feel our new, more embracing relations with each other and with nature. It calls for “planetary consciousness.” Evolving it is not a supernatural feat, nor is it one reserved for individuals of exceptional endowment. It does not mean knowing everything about everything, nor does it mean counting in terms of mil-lions or billions, whether of numbers of people, hectars of land, or barrels of oil. Rather, it means openness to new ideas, sensitivity to emerging dangers as well as opportunities, and the ability to apprehend the humanistic and sustainable values and priorities that can, and must, shape the present century.
Many people are already evolving their consciousness to the required planetary dimension; many more would do so if made aware of the need and given the opportunity. The Club of Budapest is dedicated to the proposition that promoting and facilitating the evolution of planetary consciousness is a vital aspect of our sustained well-being and individual as well as social development. It is the essential mission of our time.
The Club of Budapest, an informal association of creative people in diverse fields of art, literature and the spiritual domains of culture, is dedicated to the proposition that only by changing ourselves can we change our world—and that to change ourselves we need the kind of insight and perception that art, literature and the domains of the spirit can best provide.
The Members of the Club of Budapest use their artistic creativity and spiritual insight to enhance awareness of global problems and human opportunities. They communicate their insights in word and image, in sound and motion, and through the many new media and technologies. They are recognized world leaders in their field of literary, artistic or spiritual activity; their name is assurance of insight, and their membership in the Club testimony of their dedication to our common future.