These coming years will be unique within humanity’s living memory in that our history will witness the transition from the final era of a now fading world paradigm to a new, upgraded one. Many people have long suspected the coming of such an interval — a phase shift — with the knowledge that things could not possibly continue as they were indefinitely. In the end, they thought, if evolution did not force us into rapid readaptation, then we would probably kill ourselves off through our own means.
No More Business-As-Usual Models
The present evolutionary intervention, if it may be called that, is indeed timely, as there have been multiple warning bells ringing for some time. The mass of humanity can no longer proceed on the assumption that things are pretty much to remain the same. Whichever way you look at the situation, there can be no more business-as-usual models.
On the other hand, we also have our plentiful supply of doomsday predictions. Such Armageddon predictions have their usefulness, too, as they help to raise people’s level of awareness and to motivate a shift in consciousness. In this way, they end up becoming “self-falsifying prophecies.” Václav Havel once said,
“The tragedy of modern man is not that he knows less and less about the meaning of his own life, but that it bothers him less and less.”
Breakthrough Time: Awakening Needed
Apathy is one of our greatest dangers, especially when it comes amid increasing signs of social fatigue and deteriorating energies. We hear reports on increases in divorce rates, suicide, violent crime, and depression; we have big houses yet broken homes; we have large amounts of entertainment and visuals yet diminishing vision; and we have larger communities yet less respect.
In other words, we need an awakening; we need something to shake our foundations before they crumble silently beneath us as we lie unsuspecting in our beds. As social thinker Duane Elgin says,
“Despite all our good intentions, without this coming era of collective distress and adversity, the human family is unlikely to awaken to its global identity and evolutionary responsibility.”(Awakening Earth)
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In a similar manner, writer and thinker Peter Russell states,
“The set of global problems that humanity is facing presently may turn out to be as important to our continued evolution as ‘the oxygen crisis’ was. Never in the history of the human race have the dangers been so extreme; yet in their role as evolutionary catalysts, they may be just what is needed to push us to a higher level.”
Evolving to Collaboration, Sharing & Connection
I am in agreement that coming events can be viewed as evolutionary catalysts that are crucial to our continued evolution. Yet I would go further and say that these events are themselves part of an evolutionary pattern of change. In other words, we don’t drive evolution, evolution drives us. And either we get with the program or we lose our ride.
Part of this readaptation involves how we can arrange our social functioning to be more resilient. For example, can we shift from competition to collaboration, from possessiveness to sufficiency and sharing, from outer dependency to inner authority, and from separation to notions of connection? Usually, only the familiar populates our lives, so the notion that “everything might change” is a step too drastic for many people. What, after all, can we do in the face of unprecedented change?
Shifting Our Perceptions from One to Many
First we can begin to change our thinking, to shift our perceptions about how we see the world. Action must begin from vision and intention. Then there can be some degree of planning for the transition, which involves cooperation in place of desperate competition. After all, what is coming will be for the many, not the one. The transition is as much perceptual as it is physical. Without the capacity to perceive how our understanding of the world is shifting, we will not be equipped to manifest our vision in a practical and functional manner.
Much of how we will experience the coming social and cultural changes will depend upon how we develop our perceptual frameworks. It is an ancient axiom that like attracts like. If we are fearful, so we attract the negative circumstances, and this “law of attraction” has been misunderstood by humanity for far too long.
It is necessary that we take back our thinking for ourselves and move away from the negative influence of too much external intervention. It is no accident that fear-centered social orders will be moving toward their own extinction. And we should also recognize that episodes of crisis or breakdown are not always bad things. Rather, they can create both the motivation and the opportunity for resilience, readaptation, and renewal.
Right Attitude Provides Resilience during Transition & Change
We will fare better if we view the future as a natural gift of change rather than something to be bent into shape for the human preference. Despite the likelihood of increasingly disruptive events, those people with the right attitude and positive hope will find themselves more resilient during the rapid transitions. Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, in his powerful work The Evolving Self: A Psychology for the Third Millennium, writes:
Even if nothing were to change in our lifetime, even if signs of a new dark age proliferated, if chaos and apathy were on the ascendant, those who cast their lot with the future would not be disappointed. Evolution is not a millenarian creed event, expecting a Second Coming next year, the next century, or the next millennium. Those who have faith in it have literally all the time in the world. The individual life span with all its woes and delusions is only an instant in the awesome cosmic adventure. At the same time, our actions have a decisive impact on the kind of life that will evolve on this planet, and perhaps on other planets as well.
Perhaps another way of saying this, albeit in less prosaic terms, is that the universe never lets you down — well, not in the long run, anyway.
Reprinted with permission of the publisher,
Inner Traditions, Inc. ©2011. www.innertraditions.com
New Consciousness For A New World: How to Thrive in Transitional Times and Participate in the Coming Spiritual Renaissance
by Kingsley L. Dennis (foreword by Ervin Laszlo).
About the Author
Kingsley L. Dennis, PhD, is a sociologist, researcher, and writer. He co-authored 'After the Car' (Polity, 2009), which examines post-peak oil societies and mobility. He is also the author of 'The Struggle for Your Mind: Conscious Evolution & The Battle to Control How We Think' (2012). Kingsley is also the co-editor of 'The New Science & Spirituality Reader'(2012). He is now collaborating with the new paradigm Giordano Bruno GlobalShift University, is a co-initiator of the Worldshift Movement and a co-founder of WorldShift International. Kingsley L. Dennis is the author of numerous articles on complexity theory, social technologies, new media communications, and conscious evolution. Visit his blog at: http://betweenbothworlds.blogspot.com/ He can be contacted at his personal website: www.kingsleydennis.com.