Global Crisis or Awakening?
Updated: Dec 24, 2019
The headline for an article in the Guardian newspaper in July 2017, “Earth’s sixth mass extinction event under way, scientists warn” makes for a poignant symbol of our modern times. In the aftermath of two world wars, humanity faces daunting problems as never before. The article and a book published in 2014 entitled The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History both argue that we are now in the midst of a man-made mass extinction event, due to overpopulation and overconsumption of resources, having led to a massive loss of wildlife in such a proportion that scientists believe it would be unethical not to use strong language to describe the situation. I am often drawn to consider the challenges of the modern and relatively more informed human being, caught in a cultural paradigm that seems to be the cause of so much ecological damage and human suffering. How are we coping with the stress of not having confidence in a safe future?
The list is long: the emergence of terrorism all over the world, the mystery of chem-trails, the dire situation of our seas and forests, the consequences of industrial farming on the quality of food, the never ending series of wars and the subsequent culture-changing mass migration into Europe, and the radioactivity from the Fukishima nuclear power plant tragedy to name a few.
My perception is that the collective field is charged with tension and angst, simmering under the surface as most of us deal with the day to day struggles of a very busy modern life. I have the impression that while many are distracted from looking directly at our world problems, there is a pervasive feeling that something is very wrong with where we are currently headed.
If we look at the pattern of recent human development, especially regarding technological development, it is easy to see that humanity is experiencing an acceleration that has not been known in recorded history. Within the time frame of just a few hundred years, we have seen the arrival of the motorcar, the airplane, the telephone, the television, computers, satellite navigation systems, mobile phones, not to mention weapons of mass destruction, and the possibility of free-energy generators and reverse engineered alien replica vehicles, all of which have radically changed the way humans live. On the one hand this has had notable benefits; arguably we are living a better standard of life overall especially in the west, with modern heated housing and ample supplies of food, than we have ever done before, while on the other we live an ongoing highly stressful fast way of life as a consequence of the speed by which modern computing, driven by a corporate/capitalist paradigm, has and continues to transform our culture. If we dare look at what’s really going on, we may come to the conclusion that we are smack dab in the middle of a global scale civilisation-level collapse. How we react to this idea is up to us, but notably there is considerable polarisation in many areas of culture, and in particular politics. From a healers perspective crisis although uncomfortable is not necessarily a bad thing, in fact it may be necessary for transformation to take place. There’s no doubt that we are collectively in crisis, and some of us are handling this better than others, and we are all facing it in specific and unique ways depending on our personal beliefs and orientation to reality.
Right now we seem poised at a threshold whereby we are clearly headed toward an undesirable future if we do nothing different, and yet there within the uncertainty of our situation lies the opportunity for humanity to somehow transition into a radical new way of being as the only answer to our survival. Are our institutions, nations, and capitalism itself still viable systems or are they nearing their end?
In my view the way we have sought to problem solve up to this point is proving to be inadequate to the new problems we now face. The very structures we have created that have allowed us to become a global community of 7 billion souls is now falling apart. At a more individual level what I mean by this is that, more and more, the way we have been doing things i.e. going to college to get an education, getting a job in order to make money, going to the supermarket to get food, relying on restaurant culture to provide meals, driving almost everywhere in cars etc, is becoming less and less viable in terms of the bigger picture. It is now becoming a minimum requirement that we all learn to participate in what is really going on, rather than leaving that for a few others to deal with such as those we give authority over to i.e. politicians, scientists and the police force, who are themselves ill equipped to cope with, yet alone understand how to solve, the symptoms of crisis we now face, such as terrorism or ecological collapse. This participation can and must take many forms and has never been done before, but it must involve a level of vision, peaceful communion and interconnection that in the past we would have thought possible only in our dreams. We don’t have the luxury of time if we are indeed in a mass extinction event of our own making. We all know that its just a matter of time before all the rainforests are cut down, or our seas die. My reasons for writing on this topic are not to instil panic or fear, but I do want to suggest that we can meet the challenge with resolve and with a positive self-empowered approach. If global crisis is leading us into a global awakening then how might we see this happening? Firstly although there is a very real danger inherent in the rise of polarisation in many areas such as politics, religion and science but also clearly on the internet (just read if you can bear to, the vitriolic remarks of internet trolls), the upside is that the opportunity to integrate opposing ideas, and to realise that perhaps we need now more than ever to learn to listen to the thoughts and opinions of others in order to come to fresh new perspectives, is not just more possible through the internet but now a real responsibility for the individual if we choose to reach for it. In science for example the dominance of science-materialism is faltering as more and more scientists begin to embrace the paradigm of pan-psychism, which holds that the entire universe is conscious rather than the materialistic idea, which is clearly failing us, that matter is essentially dead and the universe seen much like a machine. It excites me that there are signs of a shift in the way we think as a whole, because it means we will seek answers in new ways and hopefully actually find some.
The mass migration problem affecting Europe, which will radically affect what is left of European culture and identity, and which can be seen as a threat to western culture as whole, could also be an opportunity for humanity to practise overcoming differences in culture, religion, and values in order to attain a whole new level of integration, where different peoples can reach an awareness of each other as of equal value, worthy of respect, regardless of differences especially in what we choose to believe. This is by no means an easy task and it will require the active participation of everyone on all sides. In the hay day of the New Age movement, there was and probably still is, an excited idealistic notion that somehow we will get rescued from our current plight. The numerous prophecies of recent times, for example the way new-agers and apocalypse believers chose to interpret the end of the Mayan calendar date of 2012, along with the belief that humanity is currently in the process of Ascension to another dimension of experience away from our current problems, or that Et’s will suddenly decide to descend on us with wonderful new technology to get us out of the mess we are in, may reflect more about our child-like desire for reality to be other than what it is and a reluctance on the part of the individual to take a measure of responsibility for their part in our world situation. It truly doesn’t look like we are going to get a free lunch so to speak by simply holding an optimistic viewpoint while doing very little else. In the kindest possible way I think humanity as a whole may well need to grow up and overcome its childish preoccupation with conflict and self destruction, something that can only happen when all of us accept the level of action, both of mind and body, we are habitually engaged in on a day to day basis. For example if we cannot overcome past hurts through forgiveness, or part company with those we have come to love with real open love and respect, then we should not harbour the delusion that we are mature individuals. The truth is that in any given moment we all have an opportunity to make the world a better place by elevating the quality of our actions to the highest level we can reach. This means embracing truth as much as possible even if it hurts; this means owning ones projections and recognising with compassion our own shadow side; this means having the courage to live our personal truth as it emerges from within, to follow what truly makes us feel alive inside as much as we can; this means learning to listen to others with the humble notion that they may have something good to say that can help us become better people; this means daring to be vulnerable in order to reconnect with others; this means courageously giving of ones true nature even if others fail to recognise the beauty in what we offer. Not all of us will find ourselves in those key life positions where what we do or do not do will greatly affect what happens in the world, but in these interesting times we are all heroes if we choose to be.