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

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

From the Information Age to a Transformational Age

Ultimately, the greatest effect of the newly-born Information Age may well be the birthing of an Age of Transformation in which cultures, spirituality and human consciousness itself all evolve to face and overcome the existential challenges we face.

As transformational philosopher, Ken Wilber points out in the attached video, never before have all of the fruits of the world's great wisdom traditions - East and West, ancient and modern - been available (or potentially available) to all of the world's people. It is, perhaps, this largely unheralded potentiality for a radically new understanding of each other, the wisdom traditions which are our common heritage, and ourselves, which has triggered the rise of religious fundamentalism that we now seen in all traditions. History shows that inevitable change often provokes a reactionary response before it is widely accepted.

"This is the first time in history," Wilber observes, "that we actually have access to all of the world's cultures, to all of their forms of transformation. We have stuff from all the way back to shamanic techniques, all the way through the great axial wisdom traditions. We have various yogas East and West. We have some of the most profound contemplative traditions of all of humanity. They are all available to us, certainly at least in terms of study. But also increasingly. . . we have transmitted, realized teachers in virtually all of the great contemplative and meditative traditions. This has never, ever, ever happened in history."

"So, on the one hand," he notes, "we can put all of these things on the table and look at them, and say what are their strengths and what are their weaknesses. There are important truths in all of them. What we want to be able to do is sort of look at this, without diluting any of them or getting any of them to change, but simply putting all of them together in a way that they are mutually reinforcing (and) mutually beneficial. And then we can start to discern the key ingredients of transformation by studying what all of them have in common, using some of them to fill in the gaps that are perhaps not present in others. And that is just from the great wisdom traditions."

"A profound understanding of human growth and development has been contributed by the modern West," he points out. "And there are aspects of consciousness that modernity and post-modernity have spotted that you can find in no sutras, no tantras, no Kaballah texts, no Sufist texts, and so on. So, for the first time in history we really have a chance of putting all these things together, and not in a way to put them all down, but in a way to mutually enrich them. And that is what is extraordinary."

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