"Fearlessness is the first requirement of spirituality. Cowards can never be moral." -- Mahatma Gandhi

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Old Thinking and a 'Crisis in Consciousness'

In a fractured world that is divided and then divided again by ideologies, class culture, religions and race - rich vs. poor, capitalist vs. socialist, 'free world' vs. autocracy and theocracy, religion versus science, believer vs. non-believer etc. - do we have have the wherewithal to face the many existential crises we do?

If we do, will that spark the global cohesiveness necessary to face and overcome the global threats - from global warming to overpopulation, and from dire poverty and widespread hunger to massive species extinction - that we face?

If so, one can be certain that it will require a deeper understanding of our collective well-being and an awakening of our collective conscience and consciousness. Thankfully, there are signs that, at least for some small portion of humanity, such an awakening - an awakening of consciousness itself - is already underway.

"We as human beings are at a transitional stage," observes spiritual teacher and best-selling author, Eckhart Tolle, "where we are becoming strongly aware of the pull back to the source."

Yet while one part of humanity realizes that we face what another enlightened spiritual teacher identified as a "crisis in consciousness" - and that being (for the main part) restricted to a small portion of the most highly privileged, best educated and materially wealthy generations the world has ever produced - the large remainder of humanity, or at least its leadership, seems to remain committed to yet more of the thought structures, discussions, politicking and committee meetings that have marked our 'progress' towards the numerous conflicts and crises we now face.

For Tolle, and other progressive voices, it is clear that it is the fabric of our collective consciousness that must be challenged if we are to move forward and address the existential problems that are the results of our old thought structures and paradigmatic thinking.

Are they optimistic and realistic in predicting a widespread awakening of collective consciousness that will lead us back from the brink? Or, is this merely an updated brand of naive millenial faux spirituality? One hopes for the former and dares not look too hard at the latter.

As Einstein once famously remarked, "We can't solve problems by using the same level of thinking we used when we created them."

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