Saturday, December 18, 2010

Songs for Advent and Christmas 7: Canción de Navidad - Silvio Rodriguez

This song by Cuban singer-songwriter Silvio Rodriguez highlights the social inequality that becomes even more apparent at Christmas. He sings to those who are forgotten, those who eke out a living begging in the doorways, those, as Rodriguez says, "to whom no one has sung."

El fin de año huele a compras,
enhorabuenas y postales
con votos de renovación;
y yo que sé del otro mundo
que pide vida en los portales,
me doy a hacer una canción.
La gente luce estar de acuerdo,
maravillosamente todo
parece afín al celebrar.
Unos festejan sus millones,
otros la camisita limpia
y hay quien no sabe qué es brindar.

The end of the year smells of shopping,
greetings and cards
with vows of renewal;
and I who know of a different world
that begs its livelihood in doorways,
I set to write a song.
People appear to be as one,
amazingly everyone
seems akin in celebration.
Some drink to their millions,
others, to a clean shirt,
and some don't know what toasting is.

Mi canción no es del cielo,
las estrellas, la luna,
porque a ti te la entrego,
que no tienes ninguna.

My song is not about the sky,
the stars, the moon,
because I'm giving it to you,
who has none of them.

Mi canción no es tan sólo
de quien pueda escucharla,
porque a veces el sordo
lleva más para amarla.

My song is not just for
those who can hear it,
because sometimes the deaf
are better able to love it.

Tener no es signo de malvado
y no tener tampoco es prueba
de que acompañe la virtud;
pero el que nace bien parado,
en procurarse lo que anhela
no tiene que invertir salud.

To have is not a sign of sin,
nor is having nothing
proof of virtue;
but the one who is well born,
doesn't have to spend his health
in getting what he yearns for.

Por eso canto a quien no escucha,
a quien no dejan escucharme,
a quien ya nunca me escuchó,
al que su cotidiana lucha
me da razones para amarle,
a aquel que nadie le cantó.

Therefore I sing to the one who doesn't listen,
the one who is not allowed to listen to me,
the one who hasn't heard me yet,
to the one whose daily struggle
gives me reason to love him,
to the one to whom no one has sung.

Mi canción no es del cielo,
las estrellas, la luna,
porque a ti te la entrego,
que no tienes ninguna.

My song is not about the sky,
the stars, the moon,
because I'm giving it to you,
who has none of them.

Mi canción no es tan sólo
de quien pueda escucharla,
porque a veces el sordo
lleva más para amarla.

My song is not just for
those who can hear it,
because sometimes the deaf
are better able to love it.

A new vision of the priesthood - Part 9

This is the ninth in an ongoing series of columns about the priesthood by an activist priest from the Dominican Republic, Fr. Rogelio Cruz, that he published in El Día. English translation by Rebel Girl.

Part 9 - 12/7/2010

Celibacy is the main obstacle for young men entering seminary today.

Celibacy is a condition that the Church requires of all who want to be priests.

There are many Christians suited to be priests and there are many young men who would love to be priests, but they don't accept these conditions of celibacy, they aren't ready to give up marriage.

There are many young men of all classes, positions, who would have devoted their whole life to the priesthood, but they're married.

The Latin rite Church has the right to reserve the priesthood for those who have the charism of celibacy, but if it does, it should not be surprised if there are no priests in the future; and the hierarchy can not cause such great harm to the whole Church, only because it wants to hold on to a tradition that is relative and that has been so poorly kept throughout history.

Celibacy arose as a disciplinary weapon of the Church in the year 300, at the Council of Elvira (Spain), a provincial synod, clearly established as a disciplinary norm, and the hierarchy has had to insist on many occasions through all sorts of orders, laws, and plans, that what has been established be maintained.

We believe there have been and can be celibate priests.

What we can't see clearly -- and neither can the people of God -- is why all priests have to necessarily be celibate and why the doors are closed to those who could be priests without being celibate.

The deduction from this is that the Church should have two types of priests, single and married, with different attitudes and training, but united in the work of evangelism.

Friday, December 17, 2010

We are the change we want in the world

Leonardo Boff's weekly columns are available in Spanish from Servicios Koinonia. Some of his older columns are available in English at

by Leonardo Boff (English translation by Rebel Girl)

This statement, which seems arrogant, is actually testimony of the meaning of the "Cultivating Good Water" project launched by the big Itaipú Binacional hydroelectric plant on the border between Brazil and Paraguay, that involves about one million people. The directors of the company, Jorge Samek and Nelton Friedrich, with their teams, wisely understood the global challenge that comes to us from global warming and decided to give the most inclusive and holistic local response possible. It was so successful that it has become an international reference.

Its director-inspirers spell it out: "The Itaipú hydroelectric plant adopted for itself the role of inducing a true cultural movement towards sustainability, linking, sharing, joining forces with the various actors in the Paraná Basin 3 around a series of programs and projects systemically interconnected and holistic, that make up 'Cultivating Good Water'. They were created in light of planetary documents such as the Earth Charter, the Treaty on Environmental Education for Sustainable Societies, Agenda 21 and the Millennium Development Goals."

They have accomplished something that is truly difficult: a cultural revolution, that is, they have introduced a set of principles, values, habits, styles of education, ways of relating to society and nature, modes of production and consumption that justify the slogan, written on all the shirts of the four thousand participants of the last major meeting in mid-November, "We are the change we want in the world."

Indeed, the severity of the crisis of the Life-system and Earth-system is such that governmental initiatives, usually late and ineffective, no longer suffice. Humanity, all the sciences, social institutions and individuals must make their contribution and take the common destiny into their hands. Otherwise, it will be difficult for us to survive collectively.

Christian de Duve, Nobel Prize in Physiology winner in 1974, warns us in his famous book, Vital Dust: Life as a cosmic imperative (1995), that "our time reminds us of one of those major breaks in evolution, marked by mass extinctions." Indeed, the human being has become a destructive geophysical force. In earlier times, it was levelling meteors that threatened the Earth; now the devastating levelling meteor is called the human being sapiens and demens, doubly demens.

Hence the importance of the "Cultivating Good Water" project: to show that the tragedy is not fatal. We can make changes that go from the organization of hundreds of courses in environmental education and training, through the outcrop of a collective consciousness of co-responsibility and care for the environment, the shared management of watersheds, incentivizing family farming, the creation of a biological refuge for regional species, biodiversity corridors linking several forest reserves, over 800 km of fencing to protect riparian vegetation, the recovery of all rivers, cultivation of medicinal plants, power generation through pig and poultry wastes, construction of a 10 km canal to overcome a height difference of 120 meters and allow fish to swim upstream, to the creation of a Technology Center, the Center for Environmental Knowledge and Care and the University of Latin American Integration, among others which we haven't cited.

Sustainability, caring and the participation/cooperation of civil society are the pillars that make this project possible. Sustainability introduces a rationality responsible for the supportive use of scarce resources. Caring founded on an ethic of a respectful relationship with nature, healing past wounds and preventing future ones, and the participation of society create the collective subject that carries out all the initiatives. Such values are always reviewed and agreed upon. The end result is the birth of a new type of society, integrated with the environment, a culture of valuing all of life, with clean production within the limits of the ecosystem, and strong solidarity among all. A benevolent spiritual aura runs through the meetings as if everyone felt as one heart and one soul.

Isn't that how the recovery of nature and the birth of a new paradigm of civilization start?

Thursday, December 16, 2010

A new vision of the priesthood - Part 8

This is the eighth in an ongoing series of columns about the priesthood by an activist priest from the Dominican Republic, Fr. Rogelio Cruz, that he published in El Día. English translation by Rebel Girl.

Part 8 - 11/30/2010

Those who are in the priesthood have been recruited at a very early age and, in reality, they chose that life before reaching mental maturity, so that when they come to make their first adult decision, it may be too late.

These young men (adolescents) thus recruited are those who give the tone of levity that is found in seminaries. They are poorly motivated young men, who don't even know where they're going or what they really want.

The vocational campaigns or days are not at all satisfactory and those who go are usually adolescents with very little motivation.

Also, since they see a lot of adult or middle-aged priests, they are not drawn to be like them.

Before, the priest was considered to be an important man in society.

Today many contend with him for this role and in some societies, they are rejected.

Before, the priest was considered to have an aura of science; today, the priest knows very little about modern technology.

Today, the priest is a man of the church, only endowed with "magical" powers. And the magical and mystical are not accepted in today's society.

The problem is that there are too many bitter, alienated, and abusive priests today.

We are not examples of patience, or charity, or prayer, or selflessness, or poor and sacrificial living.

We are men with spiritual power and the people see us as police, sergeants in an organization that is as feared as it is loved.

There are many bad examples of priests who center their lives on the church, and the lives of men and women are centered on other things.

We see the most active priests and the ones who most identify with the people sent somewhere else or we see them leave the priesthood, and it's obvious that they did it because of being who they are and because their lives are made impossible, both by superiors and fellow priests. The young men who see that, say: "I'm not going to go there."

If Christ is the model, why make a priest undergo a long path to dehumanization? Christ, on the other hand, became man to redeem humanity, he acted like a real man. Why does the priest have to become dehumanized in order to serve his brothers and sisters?

Why does he have to separate himself from people, dress differently from men, not frequent the usual haunts of people, not have a family like other men, and always be on top of himself so that, in his daily actions, the man doesn't appear?

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Songs for Advent and Christmas 6: Someday at Christmas

This song, written by Ron Miller and Bryan Wells, is the title track of a Christmas album recorded in 1967 by Stevie Wonder. Miller, who is better known for such romantic hits as "Touch me in the morning" and "For once in my life", was writing while the Vietnam War was still going strong and the fight for civil rights at home still being waged. He was looking forward to a time of peace, a time when no child would go hungry and when all people would be free. The day Miller envisioned still hasn't arrived. Will we ever see it?

Someday at Christmas men won't be boys*
Playing with bombs like kids play with toys
One warm December our hearts will see
A world where men are free

Someday at Christmas there'll be no wars
When we have learned what Christmas is for
When we have found what life's really worth
There'll be peace on earth

Someday all our dreams will come to be
Someday in a world where men are free
Maybe not in time for you and me
But someday at Christmastime

Someday at Christmas we'll see a land
With no hungry children, no empty hand
One happy morning people will share
Our world where people care

Someday at Christmas there'll be no tears
All men are equal and no men have fears
One shinning moment, one prayer away
From our world today

Someday all our dreams will come to be
Someday in a world where men are free
Maybe not in time for you and me
But someday at Christmastime

Someday at Christmas man will not fail
Take hope because your love will prevail
Someday a new world that we can start
With hope in every heart

Someday all our dreams will come to be
Someday in a world where men are free
Maybe not in time for you and me
But someday at Christmastime
Someday at Christmastime

*For those who object to the non-inclusive language, please remember that this song was written in 1967 before our collective conscience was raised.

A new vision of the priesthood - Part 7

This is the seventh in an ongoing series of columns about the priesthood by an activist priest from the Dominican Republic, Fr. Rogelio Cruz, that he published in El Día. English translation by Rebel Girl.

Part 7 - 11/18/2010

We must revise recruitment to enter the seminary, as the way it's being done today is counterproductive, since many of the youngsters (teenagers) who enter don't persevere, they don't stay.

Only those who have the spiritual charisms required for today's priesthood persevere. And they will be few and far between.

This is how the process has been for those who are priests today:
  • They follow a family tradition (Christian families)
  • They have lived enclosed in seminaries and novitiates
  • They have stayed in the background
  • They have been subtly pressured not to waver (put the hand to the can't look back)
  • Many see the face of the aunt, the tears of their mother, the serious gesture of their father, the disappointment of the rich lady who paid for their studies up to now, or the reprimand of the priest who recommended them
  • But as the seminarian matures, these arguments lose strength and when they have to make a decision, they make one.
What kind of young people -- young men -- enter the seminary?

a) Those who come from societies and families with great Christian traditions, where modern thought and customs have not developed and socio-religious problems are never questioned, much less traditional values. But it won't be long before they suffer a strong crisis.

b) Much fewer in number, those who belong to a new era and, one could say, a new Church. The one with a service image that fits the modern world. Those who, knowing some if not all of the dehumanizing process they will go through, because they have a special charism, are ready to go through this process and move beyond it when it's over.

They will go through many crises, since the priesthood will prove not to be all it was made out to be.

These young men are not going to come from angelic groups, where purety, resistance to temptation, flight from sin, or even a grace-filled life are the main engine of their lives, but rather from the special movements than have made them, through their activism, real priests for the secular world in which they unfolded.

They know that their main role won't be being distributors of sacraments, but living exponents and witnesses to the message of Christ. They will be true servants of their brothers and sisters out in the field where they are needed -- not specifically in the church, but where they are needed.

Young men who know what it is to have a girlfriend, who know what dancing is, what having true friendships with people of the opposite sex is, who have experienced being tempted, who know what work life is because they have had to earn a living by working.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

A new vision of the priesthood - Part 6

This is the sixth in an ongoing series of columns about the priesthood by an activist priest from the Dominican Republic, Fr. Rogelio Cruz, that he published in El Día. English translation by Rebel Girl.

Part 6 - 11/16/2010

If one of the great sins of priests is interest in material things, a no lesser one is the lack of interest in the spiritual.

Lack of interest in personally getting to know each of his sheep. Lack of interest in knowing their problems. Lack of interest in helping them with their problems. Lack of interest in going to visit them in their own homes.

Many censuses are conducted to impose tribute, to keep the list of contributors up to date, but never to know the real situation of the parish, of each family, to know how many sick people we have to visit, to know how many fallen away Christians we need to draw back, to know how many children are not going to school or to catechism.

Almost all the interest is based on attending to rich people; and for the poor, crumbs of time or whatever is left over.

Most priests come from the lower class, but their training and work is directed at the middle class or those above; they put themselves at the service of the upper class and divorce themselves from the working class.

Other priests have the urge to be builders, priests involved with financiers, going from bank to bank looking for those who will lend to them or give them money to build.

The priest should do that when it is absolutely necessary and represents a great good for the Church and there is nobody else who can do it.

The problem is that many priests, after having built the church, are unfit for the Gospel. The heart has become cement, brick, and they have built a wall between themselves and the people.

Others have an urge to celebrate Mass, without denying the importance of the Eucharist, many priests come to the chapel, to the church, with time measured out.

They confess, they celebrate baptisms and in the sermon will talk about funds and the collections to build the new chapel.

Mass is over, and they disappear until next Sunday; many of those churches won't open for the whole week. But Mass has been celebrated.

Despite the best will, the priest thus becomes a functionary who brings merchandise. Such a Mass is useless. It doesn't fill any need.

The Mass has no content, no meaning.

The Mass, being a value in itself, becomes merchandise that does not attract the buyer.

Who comes? Pious people, good ones, friends of following tradition -- they are those who don't want to commit a mortal sin by not going to Mass. The absence of the young is noticeable.

If celebrating Mass like that is the task of a priest, one could say that he is wasting his time. The first thing to do is evangelize.

This is the price the Church has to pay for making into a legal obligation what can only be decided by Love.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Navidad 2010: A Christmas reflection from Dom Pedro Casaldaliga

Dom Pedro Casaldáliga, bishop emeritus of São Félix do Araguaia in Brazil, has penned this poem/reflection about being Christmas in today's world . We bring it to you in Spanish and English (translation by Rebel Girl).

Es difícil detectar El Anuncio
entre tantos anuncios que nos invaden.
¿Existe aún la Navidad?
¿Navidad es Buena Nueva?
¿Navidad es también Pascua?
Sabemos que «no hay lugar para ellos».
Sabemos que hay lugar para todos,
hasta para Dios...

It's hard to detect The Annunciation
among so many announcements that invade us.
Does Christmas still exist?
Is Christmas the Good News?
Is Christmas Easter too?
We know that "there is no room for them."
We know that there is room for all,
even for God...

El buey y la mula,
huyendo del latifundio,
se han refugiado en los ojos de este Niño.

The ox and the mule,
fleeing the latifundio,
have taken refuge in this Child's eyes.

El hambre no es sólo un problema social,
es un crimen mundial.
Contra el Agro-Negocio capitalista,
la Agro-Vida, el Bien-Vivir.

Hunger is not just a social problem,
it's a worldwide crime.
Against capitalist Agri-business,
Agri-life, Right-living.

Todo puede ser mentira,
menos la verdad de que Dios es Amor
y de que toda la Humanidad
es una sola familia.

Everything could be a lie,
except the truth that God is Love
and that all Humanity
is one family.

Dios continúa entrando por abajo,
pequeño, pobre, impotente,
pero trayéndonos su Paz.
Doña María y el señor José
continúan en la comunidad.
La Veva continúa siendo tapirapé.
La sangre de los mártires
continúa fecundando la primavera alternativa.
Los cayados de los pastores,
(y del Parkinson también),
las banderas militantes,
las manos solidarias
y los cantos de la juventud
continúan alentando la Caminada.

God still enters from below,
small, poor, powerless,
but bringing us his Peace.
Lady Mary and Mister Joseph
are still in the community.
Veva is still tapirapé.
The blood of the martyrs
still fertilizes the alternative spring.
The staffs of the shepherds,
(and of Parkinson's too),
the militant banners,
hands outstretched in solidarity,
and the songs of youth
still offer encouragement along the Way.

Las estrellas sólo se ven de noche.
Y de noche surge el Resucitado.
«No tengan miedo».
En coherencia, con tesón y en la Esperanza,
seamos cada día Navidad,
cada día seamos Pascua.

Stars are only seen at night.
And from the night, the Risen One emerges.
"Fear not."
Consistently, with determination and hope,
let us be Christmas every day,
every day let us be Easter.

Amén, Axé, Awire, Aleluia.

The Dueling Virgins

Yesterday, our church was visited by two Marys. Two Marys?? Of course, anyone even remotely connected to Hispanic ministry knows that one of them was Our Lady of Guadalupe. I wore my Guadalupe t-shirt for the occasion -- a t-shirt that also happens to be pink, the liturgical color of Gaudete Sunday (what the official Catholic Church thinks we were celebrating).

As we were waiting, I saw some brothers and sisters bring an image of the Virgin to the little altar they had assembled in the front of the church. It wasn't La Morenita. No. These folks had arranged to dedicate this Mass to the Virgin of Cotoca, a Bolivian Marian devotion from the Santa Cruz region that is technically supposed to be celebrated on December 8th (Feast of the Immaculate Conception).

I had never heard of the Virgin of Cotoca but later learned that she was discovered inside a log by three humble field hands who had fled their master after being falsely accused of a murder they didn't commit. The field hands brought the Virgin back to their master when, after they prayed to Her, the real culprits were discovered. The Virgin went on to produce many more miracles. She is the patroness of the eastern part of Bolivia and has a shrine and even a Facebook page.

La Guadalupana, whose feast day really is on December 12th, had the place of honor right at the foot of the altar. Her image, painted by one of our young people, was carried in the opening procession by two children while the other children followed, carrying roses to offer to Her. Our choir director who, being Salvadoran, didn't have a stake in this "competition", programmed two opening hymns -- one to each Virgin. Before beginning the Mass, Fr. Joe looked with bemusement at the two Marys and quipped: " least they're not fighting!"

I don't know what happened later upstairs. Downstairs, with the children, we simply told the story of Our Lady of Guadalupe. I had never heard of Our Lady of Cotoca before yesterday and, in any case, Guadalupe was the Virgin who was named Patroness of the Americas so She is our common Madrecita.

These are the moments that make Hispanic ministry so fascinating to me. We are (more or less) monolinguistic and yet culturally diverse. If we are a Kingdom people, we will enjoy the richness of each other's faith traditions, learn from, and accommodate them without conflict. A Mexican Mary and a Bolivian Mary can peacefully co-exist at the foot of their Son, through Whom we are one people of God.

Songs for Advent and Christmas 5: Come, Rejoice!

Judy Collins recorded this song on a 1994 CD by the same title. We are called to remember a Christ who makes queens and beggars equal and Collins exhorts us to "Give the tender gift of hope / Make Christmas every day."

Bright as the sun in the dark night air
There appeared a heavenly light
To guide the wise men to the King of hope
Who was born on Christmas night

The wisdom Child and His Mother mild
Slept in a manger stall
In a stable low where the cattle moaned
And the angels stood their guard

Come rejoice, queen and beggar
The homeless man and the prince of pride
Saints and vagabonds, rich and poor
Rejoice in gladness on Christmas night

Bearing their gifts every wise man knelt
Bending his knees to the King
In the heavenly light while sweet Mary smiled
They heard the angels sing

So every soul on Christmas night
Yearns for healing grace
With gifts of myrrh and frankincense
They bless sweet Jesus' face

Come rejoice, queen and beggar
The homeless man and the prince of pride
Saints and vagabonds, rich and poor
Rejoice in gladness on Christmas night

May all the blessings that come to us now
Lead us from darkness to light
May all the hope that is here in our hearts
Live beyond this magic night

Late tonight on a city street
Some child of woman and man
Goes to sleep on the frozen ground
And holds an empty hand

Lift your eyes to the hopeless face
That greets you on your way
Give the tender gift of love
Make Christmas every day

Come rejoice, queen and beggar
The homeless man and the prince of pride
Saints and vagabonds, rich and poor
Rejoice in gladness on Christmas night

Come rejoice, queen and beggar
The homeless man and the prince of pride
Saints and vagabonds, rich and poor
Rejoice in gladness on Christmas night, on Christmas night

Photo: Judy Collins with children in Croatia as part of her work as UNICEF ambassador.

Itaipú Binacional: a miniature of biocivilization

Leonardo Boff's weekly columns are available in Spanish from Servicios Koinonia. Some of his older columns are available in English at

by Leonardo Boff (English translation by Rebel Girl)

In the global culture today, there is much widespread despair and bewilderment. We don't know where we're going. It's a blind flight into the unknown. Even more painful is the lack of an alternative to the current model that seeks great accumulation with a view to accelerated consumption, at the expense of the depletion of natural resources and generating glaring social injustices worldwide.

With the emerging "externalities" (global warming, resource scarcity, global imbalance of the Earth-system) the predominant feeling is that the world can not continue as is. We have to change. So, everywhere, there are new visions and, in particular, practices that give us back some hope that another world is possible and necessary. The new focus is on caring for life, saving humanity and the protection of planet Earth. What is to be born will be a biocivilización or a "land of good hope" (Ignacy Sachs).

And here in our country we find a miniature of the collective will, a small anticipation of what should be dominant in humanity: the "Cultivating Good Water" project of Itaipú Binacional in Foz do Iguaçú, in the state of Paraná.

There, through an agreement between Brazil and Paraguay, the world's largest hydropower plant has been built with a reservoir 176 kilometers long, where 19 billion cubic meters of water have been collected, used for 20 turbines that generate 14,000 megawatts.

What was the insight of its directors, Jorge Samek and Nelton Friedrich, even at the beginning of their administration in 2003? That water would not be used only for electricity production, but also to create all sorts of energy needed by the beings that are vitally dependent on it, especially humans.

So the "Cultivating Good Water" project was formed, that involves 29 cities around the area, in which close to a million people live, along with the raising of poultry and pigs, among the largest in the country. This is a highly complex project covering virtually every dimension of reality, resulting in a cultural revolution, since this is the purpose of the thousands of people carrying out the project. This is exactly what we need: a new civilizing attempt, tested in miniature, that is viable within the altered conditions on an Earth in the process of global warming and depletion of its resources. The motto says it all: "A new way of being for sustainability."

I've always said that sustainability was hijacked by the capitalist project, making it empty to keep it from being an alternative paradigm to it, which is inherently unsustainable. Freed from this captivity, it becomes the central value of a new civilizing arrangement that establishes a balanced relationship between human beings, nature, development and generational solidarity. In Itaipu, the establishment of this happy relationship has been achieved. They started correctly with community awareness. That is to say, they began with the expansion of consciousness, convening notable names in ecological thinking, such as F. Capra, Enrique Leff (UNEP-Latin America), Marcos Sorrentino, Carlos and Paulo Nobre among others. I myself have accompanied the project from its inception. They defined space not by the arbitrary limits of the municipalities but by the natural boundaries of watersheds. They involved all the communities, creating management committees for each river, legalized by the municipalities. Wisely, they realized that environmental education is the engine of change in being, feeling, producing and consuming. Is this not the inauguration of a cultural revolution? They trained several hundred environmental instructors, thus reaching thousands of people. A new generation is emerging that is looking for a sustainable way of living.

In the next article, I want to detail the wide range of activities from the use of solid waste to generate energy, to technological innovation with the electric car, research on hydrogen, the creation of the Centro de Saberes y Cuidados Ambientales (Center for Environmental Knowledge and Care) and the Universidad Federal de la Integración Latinoamericana (Federal University of Latin American Integration - UNILA).

Anyone who accompanies this project comes away with this certainty: that humankind can be rescued, there is a way, and it's possible, as Fernando Pessoa said, to create a world that has not yet been tried.