The Way Ahead Newsletter: No. 3
The third ‘Way Ahead’ newsletter arrives as we enter spring 2012, shortly after the March 20th
equinox – and now the real new year begins. I truly feel that dialogue and communication is spreading exponentially around the world – both the empowering information and the distracting. It is our responsibility to share what we know with others, so that we are mentally, emotionally, and internally balanced for the way ahead. It is a time for spreading the word, and for opening our eyes to the world unfolding around us. Now, to this month’s reflections…
In a recent essay – 2012-2020: Where Mythologies Clash
– I wrote of how the decade ahead will be a testing time as it marks the peak clash between two mythologies - or rather, two defining eras. I wrote of how the ‘old’ system, which is still incumbent, reflects a vertical top-down structure that is heavily centralized and based upon the few controlling the ‘much’ and thus the ‘many’. This is not only a way of life but importantly a way of perceiving and thinking that reflects a specific narrative, or mythology. I noted how as we move into a period of increasing energy constraints; contracting economies; and rising costs of living, we will need to rely more on local resources. This model, of economic re-localization and re-distribution, is a forerunner of a new system coming into being. We are heading into a decade where we will literally have to rearrange the very way we think and do business. This is the clash of mythologies, the narratives we live by, and new mythologies rarely come into existence smoothly. As I have written of previously, new social systems that emerge as a direct contender to the current one create great head-on conflict, such as in social revolutions and the infamous ‘clash of civilizations’. Such external conflicts are the markers upon our historical path. The more profound, and holistic change, is a change in mythology which incorporates the very way in which we view the world and humanity’s place within it. Such previous shifts in mythology have occurred when humanity gradually moved from a flat to a round Earth perspective. That is why I feel the times ahead are of deep significance to us all: it represents a shift in perspective, in human consciousness, that will not only influence our physical socio-cultural evolution but the conscious future of humanity, as it will be a marker – a mythological milestone – in how we view the way ahead as a collective species.
We are still caught within the polarized debates of ‘and/or’; for example, are we living in a world of scarcity or abundance? For many the answer to this question depends on our own perspective on the world; i.e., are we running out of resources, or is this a fabrication and humanity will always find innovative solutions? My own take on this is that the answer is both; and the solution will come from what emerges as our overall world narrative for the future. I say ‘our world narrative’ not from a western colonial point of view, but from the recognition that we are now living in an inherently interconnected world. What occurs within our systems – economic; resource; communications; etc – will impact on a global scale. Our mythologies have now entered a global stage. If the dominating narrative is one of perpetual growth within a constrained control system, then scarcity will become a dominating ideology; which in turn will empower the call for increased loss of civil liberties. Yet if a narrative of distributed networks of empowerment, community, and integral sustainability becomes a dominant narrative, then we can see the abundance available within our human capacity to innovate as well as our environmental potentials.
Diverse minds around the world connecting together have the ability to create innovative solutions: the ability to see problems and issues in a new way, often by non-specialists: innovation is a state of mind, made exponential by our connectivity. For example, now in 2012 the population hovers around 7 billion and the number of known internet users is 23% of the population. Yet by 2020 population will be 7.8 billion and internet users is expected to be at 66% - that’s 3 billion new people plugging in to the global conversation. It is also another 3 billion new minds and problem solvers and innovators! We have to change the global conversation – from complaining about problems to solving them: we have to be a part of the growing global conversation.
The immediate future will become less about wants and more about needs. For many people this may involve insecurity and frustrations. Will the changes affect me? they may ask. In the short term I feel it is almost inevitable that some of the impacts will be felt on a global scale. Human society has been placed within a juggernaut of converging systems that range from being corrupt, unsustainable, to illusionary and damaging. And many of us have been tempted, lulled, pacified and plenty-fied into a way of life that takes us outside of our means. We now need to ‘Bring It All Back Home’, as Bob Dylan would say. It is now about entering into a new conversation within ourselves. A time to look at our dependencies, tendencies, addictions, and wants: and to change our own internal narrative
into one that is self-sustaining, self-nourishing, and life-giving. We need to be less stimulated by external stimulants, and more catalyzed by inner choices and self-empowerment.
Part of our mythological clash is about how we choose to exercise human consciousness. This is the argument I discuss at length in my new book The Struggle for Your Mind: Conscious Evolution and the Battle to Control How We Think
(to published April/May 2012). In this work I assess the ways modern societies limit consciousness and keep humanity distracted from their inner lives; and how our societies have been programmed to preserve incumbent power structures and their rules. Not only do our human environments distract us through entertainment and technology, but also serve to separate us from Nature and the living cosmos. However, great change is part of the stimulus to awaken us to culture’s imposed limits on perception; our new mythology will foster a rise in collective empathy and awareness.
However, this will not occur overnight. Monumental change more often than not comes through periods of gestation. We will need to live, experience, and respond to the challenges ahead in order to bring forth the changes that have been birthed and initially nurtured within our various cultures, and within collective humanity. Whilst experiencing the upcoming years of austerity and financial uncertainties we will also learn to be more connected, communicative, and to appreciate our relationship with the natural world. In doing so we will begin to participate in co-creating a more sustainable, equitable and meaningful future for us all. This will be the birthing of a new narrative for the next stage of human civilization.
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Until next month.... please visit my webpage
for more news...and stay informed.
PS. New Essay now available online: 2012-2020: Where Mythologies Clash
"Monetary, Climate & Food Systems" - Allen L. Adkins, Kingsley L. Dennis and Leonardo Wild
Some News of Interest
The NSA Is Building the Country’s Biggest Spy Center
The Science Of Epigenetics – How Our Minds Can Reprogram Our Genes
'Occupy' as a business model: The emerging open-source civilisation
A 'Saying' to Share
‘There is no wisdom where there is no common sense’
A Tale to Finish
There was once a wise man so old that no one in the town knew his age. He himself had forgotten, among other reasons because he had transcended any attachment to human greed. One day as he was sitting under a huge tree staring at the horizon, the mind still as a cloudless sky, he suddenly notice a young man approach a nearby tree and throw a rope over one of its main branches and tie the other end around his neck. The wise man, realizing the intentions of the boy, ran quickly to him and asked him to desist from his purpose if only a few minutes to listen. The young man agreed, and they sat together under the tree. The old man said softly:
‘I will make a bargain with you, dear friend. Listen to me for just one minute of your time, and then I will interfere no more. Now’, continued the old man, ‘imagine a single turtle living within a huge ocean and which only comes to the surface once every million years. Further, imagine a small rubber ring floating on the waters of this vast ocean. Now imagine the chances of the turtle raising its head above the water and entering its head within this ring. Imagine the difficulty to achieve this and yet this is so much harder than to obtain the human form. Now, friend, proceed as you see fit.’
The locals still tell of how that young man became old and wise himself.