The 21st century is the meeting point where the wisdom of ancient traditions shall find a synthesis with modern science. Our knowledge systems are converging now to help us synthesize and make use of our resources, to help us advance and continue forward. It is a reciprocal process, whereby assisting the cosmos with its evolutionary design we are given the opportunity to bring ourselves up, as a sentient species, towards greater knowledge and growth. Humans are a required resource within the greater evolutionary design. Several esoteric sources, such as Ernest Scott and Rodney Collin , have indicated the time lengths involved with the inception of cultures by conscious minds. They further explain how there is a set time designated for our present global civilisation to evolve enough conscious minds in order to assist, and/or provide enough energies, for the next planetary phase. This notion, whilst obscure and abstract to some, is not without its active adherents. One term that has come into context for this situation is that of Reciprocal Maintenance.
The term ‘Reciprocal Maintenance’ was used in the writings of philosopher G.I. Gurdjieff to denote humanity’s relationship with the cosmos. This relationship is one where each being exists to support each other, as well as the larger whole. In other words, everything exists to ‘feed’ something else. This term also explains how everything exists for a purpose; how each living organism can transform and supply energy for the whole. In this respect, the function of humankind is to transform energy whilst alive. And naturally, the best ‘quality’ of energy is that which is provided consciously rather than extracted unconsciously. For example, Algae functions to transform sunlight into more complex molecules; plants function to transform sunlight and raw matter into organic compounds; bees function not only for themselves but also to pollinate flowers and thus catalyze food chains.
In the scheme of things, we can say that humanity functions as a transformer of energy: for ourselves, the community, the Earth, and for the cosmos. Our possibilities, and capacities, as human beings may in some way be dependent upon the degree to which we are able to fulfil this function. We can say that this is one of our primary functions as sentient biological organisms. In an old Vedic allegory there is the story of the Horse (feeling), the Carriage (instinct), the Driver (thinking) which are at the service of the ‘Passenger’ or ‘Owner’. However, the problem is that the ‘Passenger’ has fallen asleep within the carriage so the Horse and Driver go where they please, and often at a speedy pace! Thus, the purpose and destination of the ‘Owner’ is being ignored. This allegory informs us that ‘Man’ is ‘asleep at the wheel’ and has failed to wake-up and take control of the situation; namely, to steer oneself to one’s correct destination. By ‘waking-up’, an individual can learn to contribute conscious energy, in greater or lesser amounts, through conscious creative living and purposeful participation in life. On the other hand, if not enough individuals are contributing such energies, other means may be employed to extract the necessary ‘fuel’ from us. It was Gurdjieff’s stated belief that the overall quality of humanity’s conscious energies has been deteriorating over several millennia - especially in so-called ‘civilized’ societies. Whereas we had been prodigious ‘energy-transformers’, we were now pale reflections of former capacities.
This suggests that humankind has been forsaking its ecological function in the world; has been reneging on its obligation of ‘reciprocal maintenance’. Many have speculated upon these ‘other means’ employed to extract the energies from humanity; usually focusing on events that release extreme emotions such as warfare and natural disasters. This view offers a radical, and unpleasant, reworking of human history. It suggests that warfare, disasters, calamities, etc are not the result of accidental, sociological, and/or political causes but may be interventions created to fulfil the needs of a cosmic evolutionary ‘eco-system’. However this may be, it is not my intention to speculate on these matters, but rather to focus on the positive aspects of how humanity may relate to conscious evolution. In this respect, evolutionary design does obligate humanity to function as good energy transformers (as in all living systems). In our own ways we can all ‘return some energies’ if we act according to the right kind of perceptions and behaviour. It would assist us also if we took to reminding ourselves that we are not alone, nor separate in our lives, but instead are interrelated to all processes social, terrestrial, and cosmic. We are, in all senses, a part of the unfathomable creative, universal fabric of life.
There is far more depth and wisdom to our lives than is taught in our educational establishments, mainstream media, or institutional religions. Yet this tyranny of perception is entering a transition period also, as increased information floods our physical and non-physical channels. The world of the glittery and gritty consumerist struggle is being invaded by change from all angles. Nothing is immune to these changing times; not even our own immune systems. Many of us have immune systems that have been conditioned and strengthened from birth to accept the perceived socio-cultural paradigm of our circumstances. Now, along with many systems and institutions, our own inner systems are beginning to desire alternative food, and more nutritious energies. We know something is amiss when there is an inner urge to start looking for pieces of a different puzzle, when external experiences increasingly fail to ‘sit right’ with us. In some sense these stirrings will indicate a struggle between powers: between your own inherent power of self-determination over the power from consensus social forces. Everywhere and in everything power is prevalent in society. It thrives upon the material energies produced. Yet there are degrees of power, and genuine power is the power to empower others. And above all: subtle energy is powerful and powerful energy is subtle. Let us remember that energy goes where attention flows – so, what’s your attention focused on? It is now becoming well-understood that like attracts like is a universal axiom. This relates more appropriately now with what the new sciences are telling us about the power of ‘intention’ to affect bio-information fields. We need to exercise our intentions to ask the ‘right questions’. As Grandmother Twylah of the Seneca Indian tradition has stated: ‘Each person should ask themselves four questions: i) Am I happy in what I'm doing?; ii) Is what I'm doing going to add to the confusion in the world?; iii) What am I doing to bring about peace and contentment?; iv) How will I be remembered when I'm gone?’