In the developed countries of the world, we live in a world paradigm that is so clearly unsustainable. I am not trying to persuade you of this. So if you believe that the current world paradigm is functional, please don’t take this as an attempt to persuade you otherwise. I am writing simply to consciously acknowledge what great numbers of people already know—that the current world paradigm is fatally flawed. This doesn’t mean that there is no hope for humanity; only that our future lies beyond the current paradigm.
I don’t want to dwell on the evidence, but I think it helps to become conscious of it. And I don’t want the facts that I am addressing to be a mystery. They include the following:
- In the United States, where I live, according to the Gallup Poll, 82% of Americans disapprove of the Congress. Many have come to believe that large financial interests, which are largely out of touch with the interests of the populace, control the United States government.
- 44% of Americans report that they are struggling in their life and 4% percent report that they are suffering.
- Global warming is changing weather around the world, and scientists are now more than 90% certain that it is caused by humanly created greenhouse gases. It is becoming clear that we are past the point of no return relative to severe impacts, such as the rise in the level of the oceans.
- We are so dependent on fossil fuel that we are taking extreme measures, like fracking, to extract petroleum products from the earth, endangering the ecosystem.
- In the United States, and elsewhere, we continue to create money and incur debt that is out of proportion with our real wealth, creating global financial instability.
- Worldwide, the richest 85 people hold more wealth than the poorest 50% of the global population.
How would you describe what is at the root of the world paradigm that is creating these results? It seems to me that it is important to see the issue clearly, both as it relates to the world at large and as it relates to our own life. Here is what I understand it to be. The current paradigm in the developed countries of the world, which increasingly dominates the whole world, is a mechanical model of existence. It is a worldview that diminishes and disregards the sentient Being within both people and Nature. And because the world is seen as stuff and not as a living Being, the goal becomes to manipulate that stuff to be most pleasing to the manipulator, without seeing that the Beingness of all people, all of Nature and the planet as a whole, is seeking to thrive all together. It is a worldview that sees Creation as a big machine with a vacuous center—no soul.
The current mechanical paradigm has the individual distrusting themselves; distrusting their own thinking, their own heart, and their own soul. It is a soul-numbing model in which the individual is highly subject to the manipulation of others.
There are many factors that have contributed over millennia to the current paradigm. Human history is complex, and it can be difficult to see the larger pattern that has defined the current human reality. What I see is that human institutions have convinced people to lose faith in the truth that lies within their own soul. Religion has given the message that we are sinners, we are unenlightened, unevolved and unworthy. And the majority of people are all too ready to be convinced. Logic tells me that spiritually empowered people who think for themselves are not subject to devious political, religious and financial leaders the way the mass of humanity is.
There are so many positive things happening around the world with visionary people who have a new vision of humanity, of technology, and of our place in the universe. At the core of that new paradigm is the awakened soul; the soul that has recovered from the numbness that is present in the current paradigm because it is warmed by the reality of Universal Love. In the new paradigm, the awakened soul is honored for its place in this world and for its place in humanity, and not shunned as being sinful and shameful. It’s the soul redeemed, not by religion or any religious figure, but redeemed by the very reality of Love that’s present in the soul, connecting the soul to all of Being. I am not talking just about some isolated soul, separate and alone. I’m talking about the soul that’s connected with all souls and with all of Being. That connection brings the redemption that allows us to live powerfully and meaningfully and truthfully as human beings.
Are you ready to see the gravity of the problem that humanity finds itself in? It’s hard to look at and yet unavoidable. At the same time, there is the magnitude of the solution that is available. That solution is available to us if we seek it. If we truly seek it we find it and make it available to the world in which we live.
My own soul is committed to the solution to these things. My life is committed to never giving in to the old paradigm—in myself or in the world around me. We all walk through the paradigm as it is. Let’s admit that it’s impossible not to. We live in the world as it is. Virtually all people in the developed world use electricity that comes from the humanly created grid. We use fossil fuel for our transportation and heating. We swim in the ocean of human consciousness as it is. So, as William Stafford says in his poem, “It is important that awake people be awake,” because we are swimming in an old paradigm. And yet, in swimming in that paradigm, you and I have the opportunity not to give in to it. We can understand that the human manufactured world is created out of a natural reality that transcends it. After all, that is where all fossil fuel and all chemicals come from. Our own Being is sourced from a reality that transcends the humanly created world. So in never giving in to the old paradigm, we can give ourselves to the new paradigm that acknowledges the underlying reality of our Being. At the heart of that new paradigm is the connection of our own soul to all of Being.
To fully enter the new paradigm, a person has to seek it. The kind of seeking I am talking about is primarily of the heart. The heart has a natural attunement with the new paradigm. So if we set it free to pursue its natural connection with Being, then our soul follows. Our thinking reflects our seeking, and we begin to find that for which we are looking. When we do, it is up to us to do something about it. We have to reciprocate when we find the reality of what we are seeking.
I want to speak personally about this, because these things get personal for you and for me. In the middle of my own seeking, I found people who knew the new paradigm. What they shared with me was meat for my hungry soul. By now, I have come to know what they taught me for myself. But that came later. Initially, the new paradigm was introduced to me by another person who was having that experience.
The people I met were having a real experience of God. How they named that experience wasn’t important. In fact, I don’t really remember much of what they said. The answer they provided for my hungry heart was credible to me because the God that was being presented to me was not the God of religion. It wasn’t God the Impossible, the God of sinners. It was God the Possible, the God of the Universe, the God of Gods, and therefore the one God for all people. The reality of Being was presented to me in a credible way. I found that, as I embraced the reality that they had introduced to me, I was not following a God that enslaved or put down or shamed or limited. I was following the God that held all potential for my life and for life on this planet.
Having touched the reality that I sought with all my heart, I could not help but follow it. I could not help but reciprocate. And the ultimate reciprocation is to pay it forward. As the great Master Teacher said, Do thou likewise. This is the creative action that is at the heart of the new paradigm. There are teachings that come out of that new paradigm; there is technology and the basis for new social and political systems. The new paradigm sets our genius free. But without people who let their hearts lead them to a discovery of the reality of their own Being, it has no soul. And if it has no soul it has no life and no hope and no answer for this world that so desperately needs one.
So in my life I’ve done my best to reciprocate. It’s quite a path to be on. It’s a path of learning and transformation and change. It’s a path of becoming. To reciprocate is to become. If, seeing the numbness of your own soul, you also touch the beauty and the warmth of the reality of Being, does not every ounce of your integrity call you to change? To become that reality that you’ve touched in your life, so that you can credibly bring that reality into the world and make it stick? Certainly there have been people down through the ages who have promised all kinds of wonderful spiritual things. I believe what’s left to do is simply to be a person, and then a constellation of people around the world who so reciprocate with that reality, who so respond, that they become that reality in their living, they bring it credibly into their world, and they make it stick without shadow of turning.
I have the privilege of passing on the same opportunity that came to me. I do so without thinking that the opportunity is all about those who introduced it to me, or all about me sharing it with you. The opportunity to let your soul be warmed from its numbness by Universal Love, and lit up by the truth of Being, is about simply that—the opportunity itself. And now, what will you do…? If you are embracing this opportunity with me and many others, I say, this world needs us.
I understand that, according to the old paradigm, what I am speaking of means almost nothing. According to that paradigm, what happens in the human heart and soul is, at best, simply a measure of our ability to endure that paradigm. I say that it is the cornerstone of a new world. The world we are here to create—and the worlds we destroy—rely on that cornerstone, and they suffer from the lack of it. Let’s create a new world.