Friday, November 06, 2009


Every epoch has fashioned its corresponding mind-set, some more functional than others. For example, the earlier mythic conceptions of a sacred world dominated by unseen forces and humankind’s integral relationship with powerful nature developed into a theistic consciousness. Here, divine right on Earth developed into a hierarchical system of religious authority. This belief of a divinely-ordered cosmos then progressed into the Enlightenment’s mechanistic ‘clockwork’ view of the universe where science sought to prove that natural laws held the world under linear domination. However, this materialistic mind-set that has prevailed more or less intact up until the present moment is no longer of functional use to us. In fact, if we continue with it we are liable to become its victims. Thus, an ‘upgrade’ of our perceptive capacities is required in a very real and practical way. For the past 300 years mainstream western society provided its citizens with a worldview and belief-system that has encouraged ideas related to ‘survival of the fittest’; the sense of competition and conquest. Such ideals are now rapidly contaminating our social and cultural environment and leading us on a path to destruction. The next shift must coincide with the transition phase and involve a conscious decision to develop our understanding, worldview, and wisdom, through an intensive ‘inner evolution’. The focus of this shift is to replace such obsolete material beliefs with ones concentrating on connection, communication, and consciousness. Ghandi was right when he said: ‘Be the change you want to see in the world’. When you evolve your inner world you also change the immediate world around you, as well as those close to you. It is time to release, or abandon, obsolete and superstitious beliefs. Our newly emerging scientific paradigm, with its quantum theories of entanglement, reminds us that we participate within an integrally connected and living universe. This understanding of a living universe makes it more imperative that humanity lives in accordance with balanced needs rather than consumptive desires. It is more about living simply so that others may simply live. As Willis Harman puts it

Throughout history, the really fundamental changes in societies have come about not from dictates of governments and the results of battles but through vast numbers of people changing their minds - sometimes only a little deliberately changing the internal image of reality, people can change the world. Perhaps the only limits to the human mind as those we believe in.

Such a ‘macroshift’ in human thought requires a critical number of people in society to evolve their mindset. It is a radical, yet necessary, shift from a Cartesian worldview of ‘parts’ to one encompassing a connected ‘wholeness’. By way of paraphrasing what Einstein said, the problems created by the prevalent way of thinking cannot be solved by the same way of thinking. This is a crucial insight. Without renewing our outdated cultural attitudes and thinking we will be unable to regenerate today’s dominant mechanistic civilization into a rejuvenated and integral global civilization. Thus, the modes of colonization and consumption need to be replaced by connection, communication, and consciousness. This entails a behavioural shift from possessiveness to sharing; from separation to wholeness; and from outer to inner authority. Humanistic thinker Ervin Laszlo outlines what he believes to be obsolete thinking:
- Order through hierarchy
- Individual uniqueness
- Everything is reversible
- Economic growth is good
- New is better/Technology is the answer
- Our country is right

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