I believe that a corporation that encourages employees to be open and friendly with each other and thus to wear their humanity on their sleeve, is one of the most important things for its success. Certainly, working to create such a culture is very central to my corporate work.
“Evolution is life-oriented. It is ‘good’ but not kind. It does not care for the feelings of individuals.”
~ Barbara Marx Hubbard ~
The Big Questions
So what lies ahead for us human beings? Are we well on the way towards extinction – finito – the end of the great experiment of humanity? Or are we going to continue stumbling along – a wounded, bleeding society – going nowhere fast? Conversely, is the crumbling away of our existing world which is certainly happening and is currently being speeded up by this virus, somehow going to lead us to ‘break through’ to something new – to a new, higher-order human being and a hugely improved world which works not just for the few but for the many?
Certainly, human consciousness has been rapidly evolving over the last sixty years where we’ve seen the birth of women’s rights, animal rights and in the 60’s we had the hippy movement followed by the emergence of the Human Potential movement. Today, millions of people all over the world are becoming increasingly interested in evolving their consciousness and in developing their spirituality. Most importantly, we are seeing a powerful shift away from the isolated, highly individuated ego, responsible for so much human suffering, war and patriarchy, with increasing numbers of us realising that the next step of our human evolution is towards thinking and operating much more as a human collective. Today, there are so many important questions which we all need to be asking ourselves. Perhaps one of the most significant is:
Are we as a species capable of extricating ourselves out of this very, very deep hole that we have over the years been digging, and if so, what might be the conditions necessary for this to happen?
Civilisations don’t last forever. Everything comes to an end at some point, and we are all living in an uncertain ‘in-between’ era, where one world is dying and another is doing its best to be born, although one has to admit that there are a hell of a lot of people working hard to try and keep our old unsustainable world alive! I suspect that they’re engaged in a game called Mission Impossible!
Our planet has certainly had a profound ‘wake up’ call, and in this Newsletter I want to mention a few positive and a few negative consequences of this virus and then put forward a few suggestions of my own.
None of us can deny that all of us – whether rich or poor or whatever race, nationality, culture or sexual proclivity we belong to – are in the middle of a big crisis, which in Chinese is translated as ‘dangerous opportunity’.
Yes, my friend, actually I see huge opportunities lying ahead for us as a species, which I’ll talk about in a minute, but at the same time I cannot deny the fact that I also see danger lurking, for while being subject to big shocks can certainly serve to ‘wake us up’, it also follows that if we lack the capacity to process their effect, they can also be destructive for us.
Have just returned with Martina after our having spent a delightful fortnight healing and rejuvenating ourselves at an Ayurvedic retreat centre in Sri Lanka. A long journey out and a long one back but boy oh boy was it worth it.
I previously knew next to nothing about this beautiful cleansing and rejuvenating system, which in a nutshell revolves around taking certain remedies, having many different kinds of massages with healing oils, and eating a healthy diet tailored to your specific body type.
But as with all healing systems, they are only as good as those who administer them and the people who worked in our retreat centre and who cooked for us and massaged us and looked after us generally, were truly extraordinary human beings. They all operated out of a very kind and gracious open heart and despite – or perhaps more because of – having little money, they were completely unmaterialistic.
Here is an email I sent to a very intelligent, eccentric and vulnerable client going through a difficult patch. I think it is something we all need or needed to hear at some point in our lives:
I hear you very strongly my dear friend. In a way your non resonation with the normal world is a sign of you being one of the new kind of people being born today to take our planet into new arenas. I often feel the same kind of non connectedness with conventional people, only I can bullshit by pretending to be one of them so they’ll feel comfortable with me. The difference between us is that I’m a better bullshitter than you.
In a lecture I gave recently, someone asked me this question:
“Serge. Could you give me any advice as to how one may best let go? I am making some new year resolutions for myself and I realize that in order to carry them out effectively, there are some things I need to surrender and I am finding this process quite difficult.”
Here was my reply:
Yes, letting go is always challenging. It is much harder to let go of things – be they possessions, people, values, beliefs, habit patterns – than to take them on, as that first process often happens spontaneously without our even being aware of it.
A relationship, for example, is always much easier to get into than to get out of, but as you say, often we cannot move on to the next phase in our lives unless we start divesting ourselves of what it is inside us that stands in its way. Continue reading
November 16th is the International day of Tolerance and maybe it could be an opportunity for all of us to examine where we personally stand on this issue. Do we consider ourselves to be tolerant? Or are we often intolerant? If so, what are we intolerant about? Here, we also need to remind ourselves that there can be a tendency in some of us to be pots calling kettles black, that is, to be intolerant of those who possess faults similar to our own, as that enables us to shift the burden of responsibility away from ourselves, and onto them, which results, as it were, in getting ourselves ‘off the hook’! Continue reading
The second week of September was some crazy London week for me, as I went to two launches for my book, Awakening the Universal Heart, one on the 10th of September and the other the next day.
On the 10th of September I invited only my oldest friends – those I’ve known since we were kids – and it was fitting that it took place at the wonderfully eccentric flat of Peter Adler, dripping with tribal art and exotic ethnic jewellery and artefacts. About sixty people came. It is special when you have your oldest friends around you – and we’re all getting pretty ancient now – as you can let your hair down. Nothing to prove. They know all your many idiosyncrasies.
One of the things we need to remember is that we all have multiple intelligences and that different aspects of ourselves exist at different levels. Thus, we may be pretty evolved in one or two areas, whereas in other arenas of our lives, we may be less adept and in some areas pretty hopeless.
Let us look, for example, at six aspects of life: our cognitive (intellectual) skills, our interpersonal skills (how adept we are at relating with others), our ‘street cred’ (how practical we are at handling the everyday nitty gritty challenges in life), our emotional, moral and spiritual intelligence. Some of us may be highly skilled at a cognitive level (two Ph.D’s in astrophysics) but have absolutely no interpersonal or emotional skills. Someone might be very emotionally and cognitively skilled but have absolutely no moral sense, i.e., we are a total shit, and we use our intelligence primarily to dupe and manipulate others. (I can think of a couple of CEOs of large companies who fit into this category.)