Monday, March 29, 2010

New Social Formations

The upcoming decades will be different from what has gone before. Our global society is in the midst of a great transition which will usher in new social and cultural formations. Many nations have been living the ‘high life’ as a result of the prosperity afforded by rapid industrial, technological, and material growth. The long-tail of this – the Technological Revolution – has been fundamental in stretching tentacles of dependency far and wide. Complex structures of supply, demand, and energy, are now near to breaking points.

Some of the converging crises now facing us range from global climate, energy resources, urban population growth, geopolitical insecurities, and solar storms. Having the potential for a range of critical impacts to converge simultaneously upon our social systems offers the possibility for a major revolution on a worldwide scale. Some of the consequences of these unstable systems are already beginning to play out on the global stage. If, on top of these crises, we witness the reality of political mismanagement then the ensuing fallout may be exacerbated. The new century for humankind begins as the traditional structures provided by governments, social and political institutions, are overwhelmed and no longer capable of serving humankind in its best interests. Problems and difficulties are likely to rise up, like a tsunami, and manifest in our immediate social environments. Yet unlike a natural tsunami, this one will serve also to clean the slate and clear the brushwood. It will provide the opportunity for individuals and communities to re-evaluate their life priorities. It will be a time for re-construction upon newly emerging perceptions of how better to lead a fulfilling life. Yet perhaps not for everyone: there will still be many who choose to return to the old familiar – tried and tested – ways, especially if they wielded power in those systems. However, this will prove difficult as some of the old systems will not longer be functional. New forms of social innovation will have the energetic support to emerge from the chrysalis of the fossilized structures. By this it is meant that more appropriate and creative social, economic, technological, cultural and political edifices will emerge. New skill sets will be required for the new social and community roles. This may force many to shift from office, administration jobs, from the service and manufacturing sector, towards functions that serve a regional localized need. These may include community teaching (in both theory and practical skills); maintenance and construction skills; localized economies (both currency and barter); permaculture; farming; creative inventions; security management; community committees, and more. Many farms will return to organic forms of agriculture and crop growth in order to combat the rise in soil depletion. According to philosopher Meishu Sama, petrochemicals and synthetic fertilizers negatively polarize the soil. Whilst this may produce apparently abundant growth in the short term; in the long term, they deplete the soil and exhaust its natural growing capability. The food produced is thus often lacking in nutrients and minerals. In short, many methods now employed will be forced – or catalyzed – into change. Never doubt that individuals have the necessary skills to respond to critical needs. As the expression goes – necessity is the mother of invention. New knowledge sets can be learnt and passed on; the days of apprenticeship may become more widespread once again as sustainable skill-sets become more valuable and appreciated than institutional and service-sector jobs. Never doubt that communities can find the resources to re-shape local cohesion and growth. Creativity and inventiveness are central to the human talent for tinkering. Innovation is the prerogative of people, not the governments. Again, as Meishu Sama reminds us, transformation comes from the tiniest changes:
…the fruit is the world and the seed becomes the center...and at the center of the seed itself is its essence. Because of this, in order to change the world the smallest seed only need be changed. It is just like throwing a rock into a pond - it creates ripples. In this way, making this world into heaven, the very center of the center, the tiniest point - that's where the various changes are made. Make these changes and you create a paradise on Earth.

Monday, March 15, 2010

A Call to Consciousness

A ‘Substance Of We Feeling’ is needed like wine grapes need a good soil. As a global community of individuals we are being pushed towards developing and supporting a creative collective consciousness. This is our ‘new mind’ for a ‘new world’, as discussed previously. This in turn is a reflection of our inherent connectivity within a species energy field of information and communion, as verified by the new sciences. Yet this call for a new way of thinking is neither new nor unique. Each generation has supplied its spokespeople who have argued for a more elevated and illuminated way of thought and life. In recent decades this call has come increasingly from tribal elders and indigenous traditions.

In 1977 the Haudenosaunee (Iroquois Indians) penned a paper to an agency of the UN titled 'Basic Call to Consciousness' in which they stated: Today the species of Man is facing a question of the very survival of the species. The way of life known as Western Civilization is on a death path...Our essential message to the world is a basic call to consciousness...The technologies and social systems which have destroyed the animal and plant life are also destroying the native people... As an ‘intelligent’ species we are being called into consciousness; as a necessity rather than a luxury of choice. So will there be a ‘spiritual renaissance’ where the inner search comes home? What will it be like – will it hit home like a sudden bang on the head, or like an inner explosion shaking the body to pieces? Well, not quite (but then again, nobody really knows!). Personally, I am not one of those people to propose that the body will be shed like dead skin and the etheric body to jump into 5th-Dimensional vibrations. If it happens I will be pleasantly surprised and no doubt welcome the humming sensations. However, my understanding is that the way forward will involve harmonizing inner realizations and knowing with physical well-being and humanistic development. By humanistic, I mean a conception of the human within community, ecological, and cosmic contexts: as a functioning part within grander (and lesser) systems. So part of the ‘coming home’ is likely to be the dawning that we are currently living ‘out-of-synch’ with our natural functioning and that we, as a species, are letting the side down. As living, sentient beings, we are veiled from the truths of our own energetic potentials. Some individuals may get the ‘WoW factor’ one day when they realize that their life has been ignoring these truths for so long. Other realizations will come as material systems increasingly reveal the transparency of their corrupt and inept natures.

Through a combination of physical changes on the social, cultural, and political levels, people worldwide will begin to awaken to the audacity of our situation. From this there may be further ‘awakenings’ as the ironic, incredulous, and absurd factors of many of our lifestyles are brazenly shown in the shocking light they deserve. It is my suggestion that these physically coerced changes will coincide with increased cosmic activity (meaning energetic radiations) that are set to impact our Earth and solar region. These radiations may likely stimulate neurological and physiological activity that whilst unbeknown to the person will force in them new feelings, intuitions, perceptions, and conscience. Taken in combination it can be foreseen that the coming transition times will catalyze change upon many levels. However, there is great need to ‘Work’. We will be required to renew our selves and communities – to regenerate our relationship with the world we live in. This is not a time to fear for loss, but rather a time to aspire to new possibilities. A renewal and regeneration brings in new air, new potentialities, and new gains. There is no clinging to the old when there exists much vigorous work to be done. Any spiritual endeavour cannot – or should not – be separated from the physical. The human is a physical creature that is nourished from a physical world.

Whilst we sojourn on this planet, and whilst our home remains physical, we have a responsibility to manifest our spirit within the physical domain. This is what is required of us, and deep within we all inherently know this. We are here to work together.

Sunday, March 07, 2010

Unprecedented Times

We are now living through unprecedented times. Yet this is not a time for fear, as with preparation and certitude the times ahead can be navigated. The keys to growth and renewal have been planted within each person. Much will be expected from people in the coming years as they face increased fears and challenges; challenges for which history holds few guidelines. Such challenges, whilst resonating within the heart of each person, will be aligned also within an Earthly context. The spirit does not live in isolation, but walks in life. As Native American ‘Grandfather’ says:

Trying to live a spiritual life in modern society is the most difficult path one can walk. It is a path of pain, of isolation and of shaken faith, but that is the only way that our Vision can become reality. Thus the true Quest in life is to live the philosophy of the Earth within the confines of man…we must walk within society or our Vision dies, for a man not living his Vision is living death…It is very easy to live a spiritual life away from man, but the truth of Vision in spiritual life can only be tested and become a reality when lived near society.[i]

The human species is, after all, a social species (as anthropologists keenly like to remind us). It is easy to behave ‘spiritually’ when one is confined to the hermit’s cave; then our only struggles are with our ceaseless thoughts. Whilst the realm of the spirit may appear to exist ‘not of this world’, it very definitely is an important component ‘of the world’. Again, it is the significant play of polarity – to bring matter into contact with the non-material. Without the material playground, the spirit becomes ephemeral to us; unable to manifest tangibly within our everyday lives. So the life of the spirit needs to become very real for us, and well-lived. By living it, the presence of spirit can have greater effect. As ‘Grandfather’ again reminds us:
If a man could make the right choices, then he could significantly alter the course of the possible future. No man, then, should feel insignificant, for it only takes one man to alter the consciousness of mankind through the spirit-that-moves-in-all-things. In essence, one thought influences another, then another, until the thought is made manifest throughout all of creation.[ii]

Any spiritual re-vitalization requires that each individual feel the worth of their participation; of their presence with friends, family, and within the community. As there is likely to be a forced social contraction, the transition times will usher in the need for more integral communities. Progress will come through action; and knowledge, understanding and growth can also be achieved through right actions and intentions. The window of opportunity being presented to humanity through the evolutionary ‘trigger point’ will provide the energies for growth along new values, emotions, and intellectual reasoning. To miss this opportunity and crave for the security of old perceptions and status-quo material gains will be a sore transitory pleasure. This is neither a conspiracy nor a fairytale – it is a narrative of resilience, renewal, and regeneration. This is a cyclic process that occurs at all levels in some form. However, at this present juncture, there is much necessary change required: call it an evolutionary imperative. Really, it’s quite serious this time around.

[i] Brown, T. (1991) The Quest. New York: G P Putnam’s Sons.

[ii] Brown, T. (1991) The Quest. New York: G P Putnam’s Sons.